Massachusetts Restaurateur Sentenced for Multiple Fraud Schemes, Including Workers’ Compensation Fraud

Restaurant Kitchen

Different governmental regulatory agencies have jurisdiction when it comes to certain Massachusetts workers’ compensation issues. The Department of Industrial Accidents is a state-level agency that helps administer and determine rights, responsibilities, and benefits for injured workers. The federal sentence handed down to a Boston restaurateur shows the overlapping jurisdiction of various agencies when it comes to fraud schemes, including workers’ compensation fraud.

The defendant’s jail sentence was a result of a multi-agency investigation, which included U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and the Massachusetts Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB).

The IFB is a Massachusetts agency that investigates potentially fraudulent insurance actions, including those involving workers’ compensation insurance coverage. As a governmental body charged with investigating insurance fraud, it refers certain cases for criminal prosecution. Although the investigative division was likely the most closely involved in this case, it also maintains administrative, legal, and analytic divisions. Citizens are free to report or refer potentially fraudulent activity to the IFB, which will often work with insurance companies’ special investigation units in the course of its investigation.

The defendant pleaded guilty to a variety of charges, including conspiracy against the IRS, failure to collect and pay payroll taxes, mail and/or wire fraud, false naturalization application statements, and visa fraud, in addition to not reporting his entire payroll to the workers’ compensation providers for the 11 restaurants that the defendant owned and operated, which may have saved costs on insurance premiums in the short term but ultimately led to a criminal conviction.

Massachusetts law requires that employers maintain workers’ compensation coverage for their employees. Workers’ compensation allows employees who are injured on the job to receive compensation in exchange for waiving the right to file a lawsuit. The defendant’s actions in this case to defraud the workers’ compensation insurance providers undermined the effective function of the workers’ compensation regime and could have led to an employee not receiving the compensation that he or she was due.

Employers are obligated to maintain workers’ compensation coverage in many instances. Unfortunately, as this case shows, not all employers are maintaining the appropriate workers’ compensation coverage in Boston. If you are seeking your workers’ compensation benefits, you should contact the Law Offices of Attorney Michael O. Smith.  He represents people throughout Boston who have been injured in a workplace accident or are limited because of a work-caused medical condition. If you would like to understand whether you may be able to seek compensation and benefits for your injury, call an aggressive Boston workers’ compensation attorney at (617) 263-0060.

More Blog Posts:

Massachusetts Review Board Reassigns Case After Judge Adopted Inconsistent Medical Evidence and Mischaracterized Evidence in Support of Findings, Boston Workers’ Compensation Attorney Blog, August 22, 2017

Department of Industrial Accidents Review Board Holds that When Bondholder Runs Out of Funds to Pay Benefits, Employee’s Widow Remains Protected by Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Law, Boston Workers’ Compensation Attorney Blog, November 18, 2017

Reviewing Board Holds Massachusetts Worker Not Entitled to Ongoing Benefits for Mental Disability that He Alleged was Caused by Work Events Ten Years Before, Boston Workers’ Compensation Attorney Blog, March 16, 2017

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