R.I. Man Pleads Guilty to Workers’ Comp, Disability Insurance Fraud

November 8, 2005

A Rhode Island man has pleaded guilty to charges he worked as a used car broker while claiming to be injured and collecting $55,050 in total disability benefits, Massachusetts Attorney General Tom Reilly announced.

Thomas Fratantuono, Sr., 54, of Foster, R.I., pleaded guilty to one count each of workers’ compensation insurance fraud and insurance fraud. Suffolk Superior Court Judge Elizabeth Donovan sentenced him to serve probation for two years and pay restitution of $55,050.

Fratantuono, who was a self-employed auto broker, suffered head injuries in a June 1999 automobile accident and as a result reported that he suffered from cognitive difficulties, hearing loss, and balance problems which prevented him from working after November 2000.

From November 2000 through August 2003, Fratantuono reportedly collected $699 per week in total disability workers’ comp benefits from Granite State Insurance, a unit of American International Group (AIG). In addition, Fratantuono reportedly collected $2,000 per month in total disability benefits under a private disability insurance policy he had with Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company.

The investigation reportedly found that in 2001 and 2002, Fratantuono worked as a used car broker for a Fitchburg used car dealer while collecting the total disability payments from Granite State Insurance and Penn Mutual Life Insurance.

After concealing his post-injury employment, Fratantuono fraudulently collected more than $15,000 from Granite State Insurance and $40,000 from Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company.

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