Mass. Woman Sentenced for Fraudulently Collecting $27K in Insurance Payments

Authorities announced that a Rockland, Mass., woman has pleaded guilty to charges she fraudulently collected insurance payments of more than $27,000.

According to an announcement from Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley on March 27, Olga O’Connor Rich, 41, pleaded guilty in Plymouth Superior Court to charges of motor vehicle insurance fraud (46 counts), larceny over $250 (4 counts) and attempted larceny (4 counts).

After the plea was entered, the defendant was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in the House of Correction with 30 days to serve, balance suspended for five years. Rich was also sentenced to five years of probation and ordered to pay full restitution.

“This defendant submitted fraudulent bills to insurance companies to collect for treatment that was never provided,” Attorney General Coakley said. “Insurance fraud leads to higher premiums and puts a greater burden on consumers through no fault of their own.”

“This case is the culmination of a lengthy investigation by several agencies who work together to eliminate insurance fraud in Massachusetts, including the Insurance Fraud Bureau of Massachusetts, the State Police, and the attorney general’s office,” said Daniel Johnston, executive director of the Insurance Fraud Bureau. “Taking fraud out of the system reduces insurance rates for all honest citizens.”

Rich was the sole owner of South Coastal Physical Therapy, located in Brockton, from 2001 through 2009. The defendant used her position at the business to submit fraudulent physical therapy bills to several auto insurance carriers. These “supplemental bills” were sent months or years after the initial billings were sent to the insurers for purported treatment that was never rendered, according to authorities.

Rich continued to submit the bills to insurers even after South Coastal Physical Therapy closed and ceased all operations in 2009. The defendant continued to make calls to insurers seeking reimbursement as recent as August 2011, according to authorities.

As a result of the scheme, Rich submitted fraudulent bills totaling nearly $60,000 to insurers and received payments of more than $27,000 between August 2007 and August 2011, according to authorities.