Mass. Plumber to Spend Time at Home for WC Fraud

April 27, 2004

An Abington, Massachusetts man has pleaded guilty to charges he schemed, along with his insurance agent, to avoid paying more than $131,000 in workers’ compensation insurance premiums, Attorney General Tom Reilly announced.

Patrick J. O’Shaughnessy, 61, of Abington pleaded guilty to two counts each of workers’ comp fraud and larceny over $250, and four counts of conspiracy. Suffolk Superior Judge Christine McEvoy sentenced O’Shaughnessy to serve two years in the House of Correction, with 30 days to be served under house arrest on an electronic monitoring bracelet and the remainder suspended for two years. O’Shaughnessy also was fined a total of $10,000 and ordered to paid full restitution in the amount of $65,757.

O’Shaughnessy on behalf of the corporation, O’Shaughnessy Plumbing Inc. additionally pleaded guilty to two counts each of workers’ comp fraud and larceny over $250. For those charges, McEvoy fined O’Shaughnessy Plumbing, Inc. $15,000.

The case arose from a workers’ comp premium avoidance scheme reportedly run by O’Shaughnessy, president of O’Shaughnessy Plumbing Inc., and his insurance agent, William McGowan, owner of McGowan Insurance Company. Together, the two evaded workers’ comp premiums by under reporting the company’s payroll to their insurance company.

The investigation found that between 1995 and 2000, McGowan and O’Shaughnessy conspired to avoid premiums of more than $131,000. The pair under reported the payroll for O’Shaughnessy Plumbing Inc. by presenting fake payroll records and tax returns at annual audits conducted by the insurance carriers.

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