Former Mass. Corrections Officer Charged in Scam

August 22, 2005

A former Massachusetts corrections officer allegedly injured on the job has been indicted on charges that he fraudulently collected more than $55,000 in disability pay, Attorney General Tom Reilly announced.

Antonios Sarantos, 35, of Plymouth, was indicted by a Suffolk County grand jury on one count each of workers’ compensation fraud and larceny over $250. He is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2005 at Suffolk Superior Court.

Sarantos is a former corrections officer for the Commonwealth. The Department of Correction (DOC) referred the matter to the Attorney General’s Office in April 2003. The DOC stated that Sarantos allegedly suffered a work related injury to his back in April 2002 while assisting an inmate who had fallen to the floor at the Massachusetts Treatment Center at Bridgewater.

He then began receiving total disability benefits through the workers’ comp section of the Human Resources Division of the Commonwealth. For the year, Sarantos allegedly received $38,829 in temporary total disability benefits and $17,397 in violence pay from the DOC.

The investigation found that weeks prior to Sarantos’ alleged on-the-job injury, he purchased and opened a bar in Taunton called “T.J. Gupeez,” located at 15 West Britannia Street, Taunton. Sarantos allegedly was at TJ Gupeez working at the bar on several dates during weeks that he received temporary total disability checks.

During these weeks, Sarantos reported that he was unable to work while out on disability from the DOC and did not work for another employer or under self-employment.

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