Massachusetts officials said two men — including a former claims manager — have been indicted in connection with a scheme to fraudulently collect an insurance payment of more than $23,000.
“We allege that these defendants conspired to defraud an insurance company of thousands of dollars for their own personal benefit,” Attorney General Martha Coakley stated on June 29.
Jeffery Bannon of Clinton, Mich., formerly of Swansea, Mass., is charged with making a fraudulent insurance claim, larceny over $250, and conspiracy to commit larceny over $250. Steven Cournoyer of North Providence, R.I., is charged with larceny over $250 and conspiracy to commit larceny.
Bannon is a former employee of Magna Carta Companies, also known as Public Service Mutual Insurance Company. According to authorities, Bannon and Cournoyer conspired in a scheme to defraud the insurance company out of a closed unpaid claim. The claim was related to a slip and fall that occurred in March 2007 at a Wellesley restaurant insured through Magna Carta.
Authorities allege that in February 2008, Bannon, acting in his capacity as regional claims manager, reopened the property liability claim to authorize a payment of $23,500 to Cournoyer. As part of the alleged scheme, Cournoyer deposited the insurance proceeds into his bank account and wrote a series of checks to Bannon totaling $6,240.
The alleged fraud was initially discovered by Magna Carta in August 2010 following an internal investigation. This case was referred to the Attorney General’s office by the Insurance Fraud Bureau of Massachusetts.
A Norfolk County Grand Jury returned indictments against Bannon and Cournoyer on June 27. The defendants will be arraigned in Norfolk Superior Court at a later date.
AG Coakley’s Insurance and Unemployment Fraud Division investigates and prosecutes those who commit fraud against all types of insurers, including the Commonwealth’s unemployment insurance and workers’ compensation system. In 2011, the division obtained nearly $5.6 million in restitution orders in 33 matters.