Massachusetts authorities announced this month that two men have pleaded guilty to charges they fraudulently collected an insurance payment of more than $23,000.
“These defendants conspired to obtain payment for a closed insurance claim,” Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley said in a statement. “This kind of insurance fraud drives higher premiums and unnecessarily burdens law abiding consumers.”
“This case is the result of another successful cooperative investigation between the Insurance Fraud Bureau of Massachusetts and the Attorney General’s office,” said Daniel Johnston, executive director of the Insurance Fraud Bureau. “Insurance fraud inflates rates for everyone in the system, and rooting out these fraud schemes protects the honest consumer.”
Jeffery Bannon, 38, of Clinton, Mich., formerly of Swansea, Mass., pleaded guilty in Norfolk Superior Court to charges of making a fraudulent insurance claim, larceny over $250, and conspiracy to commit larceny over $250. Steven Cournoyer, 38, of North Providence, R.I., pleaded guilty to larceny over $250 and conspiracy to commit larceny.
After the pleas were entered Bannon and Cournoyer were sentenced to two years probation and were ordered to pay full restitution in the amount of $23,500 ($11,750 each) to the insurance company.
Bannon is a former employee of Public Service Mutual Insurance Company. Authorities said 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, Mass., restaurant insured through Public Service Mutual.
Authorities said 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. Authorities said that as part of the scheme, Cournoyer deposited the insurance proceeds into his bank account and wrote a series of checks to Bannon totaling $6,240.
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