Woman Gets 5-10 Years for Workers’ Comp Scam of Family Dollar, Restaurant

March 1, 2024

A Delaware woman will serve 5 to 10 years in state prison for a workers’ compensation scam that spanned 2.5 years, two states, and cost a Pennsylvania employer more than $170,000, according to Pennsylvania Attorney General Michelle Henry.

Victoria Newell-Brown, who used the alias “Victoria Stephens” in the scam, pleaded guilty in October to 10 felonies regarding claims she made over injuries she reportedly sustained while working at a Family Dollar store in Philadelphia and a restaurant in Delaware.

On February 26, a Delaware County Judge sentenced Newell-Brown, 56, to the prison term and ordered her to pay $170,655 in restitution.

Newell-Brown claimed that in 2019 she was hurt from a fall while working at the Family Dollar store. She claimed she was totally disabled from the fall, so Family Dollar paid medical expenses, as well as workers’ compensation and wage-loss benefits for $1,500 every two weeks. Newell-Brown received that payment for more than two years.

In August 2019, Newell-Brown took a job at a Delaware restaurant, using a different Social Security number and the “Victoria Stephens” alias, so her claims in Pennsylvania would not be discovered. Two months later, she reported she was hurt — claiming the same injuries sustained in Pennsylvania — from a fall at the restaurant. The restaurant’s insurer paid disability wage-loss benefits, and Newell-Brown received payments from both states until 2021.

In order to maintain her scheme, prosecutors said Newell-Brown repeatedly lied to her employer, health care providers, judges, and others about her health, work history, medical history, and disability claim history.

According to the attorney general’s investigation, Newell-Brown received more than $97,000 in workers’ compensation and wage-loss benefits, with her employer also paying over $5,600 of her medical expenses. Her employer also paid an additional $70,000 in legal costs challenging her claims.

At sentencing, the attorney general’s office pointed to Newell-Brown’s history of criminal convictions, which the office said dates back to the 1980s and involves a dozen prior convictions, most felonies.

Topics Workers' Compensation Pennsylvania Delaware

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