A Hopkinton, Massachusetts man has pleaded guilty to misrepresenting to a contractor that he had workers’ compensation coverage for his employees and then filing a bogus claim with his homeowners’ insurance company when one of his employees was hurt on the job, Attorney General Tom Reilly announced.
Joseph Varrichione, the owner of a Hopkinton painting company, Varrichione Painting, pleaded guilty in Framingham District Court to Forgery, Uttering Forged Documents, Larceny Over $250, Attempted Larceny Over $250, and Filing a Fraudulent Insurance Claim. Varrichione was fined $10,000, ordered to pay $12,000 in restitution, and placed on probation for one year by Judge Robert Greco.
The charges originated when a general contractor considering hiring Varrichione asked if he had workers’ comp insurance for his employees. Reportedly knowing he would not obtain the work without it, Varrichione misrepresented to the general contractor that he had “full insurance coverage,” even though his most recent workers’ comp policy had reportedly expired some 12 years earlier.
When asked for documentation of the coverage, Varrichione reportedly forged a certificate of insurance by obtaining a valid certificate from his insurance agent and falsely adding the policy number from his expired workers’ comp policy.
Soon thereafter, one of Varrichione’s employees fell off a ladder while working on the project. He suffered a broken arm that required surgery and a three day hospital stay. Varrichione, knowing he had no workers’ comp insurance, reportedly filed a bogus claim with his homeowner’s insurance provider, The Andover Companies.
Although the injury occurred on the job, Varrichione told The Andover Companies that the injured man was not his employee, but rather a visitor that fell off a ladder while cleaning Varrichione’s gutters at his house.
The Andover Companies learned of this deceit and denied the claim. However, a substantial hospital bill for the employee’s injuries remained unpaid. Accordingly, AG Reilly secured $12,000 in restitution for the hospital.
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