Mass. Man Pleads Guilty in Workers’ Comp Scam; Collected Over $23,000

March 3, 2006

A Dracut, Massachusetts man pleaded guilty recently to fraudulently collecting more than $23,000 in workers’ compensation benefits, Attorney General Tom Reilly reported.

Charles Hood, previously known as Charles Byrd, 50, of Dracut, was indicted by a Middlesex County grand jury on three counts each of larceny over $250 and unemployment fraud and one count of workers’ compensation fraud on Sept. 28, 2005. He pleaded guilty to all counts in Middlesex County Superior Court. Judge Isaac Borenstein sentenced Hood to two and half years in the Middlesex County House of Correction, 140 days to serve, which he served while awaiting a trial in jail, with the balance suspended for five years.

Hood was further sentenced to probation for five years while he makes full restitution to AIM Mutual Insurance for $23,000, the Division of Unemployment Assistance for $1,500 and the Social Security Administration for $70,000.

From October 2002 to December 2004, authorities report Hood fraudulently collected more than $23,000 in workers’ comp benefits from AIM Mutual Insurance of Burlington, Mass. At the time he claimed the benefits, Hood reportedly told the insurer and medical personnel that he had no history of back injuries and did not disclose his history of filing workers’ comp claims under the name of Charles Byrd.

The investigation found that Hood had previously made five claims of back injuries between 1980 and 1997 under the name of Charles Byrd. Hood had different Social Security numbers for both names. His misrepresentation that he had no prior back injuries led the insurer, AIM Mutual, to pay workers’ comp benefits.

The investigation further found that in February 2002, Hood began collecting unemployment benefits from DUA after being laid off from Modern Continental construction company.

In October 2002, Hood continued to collect unemployment benefits while he was employed at G. N. Prunier & Sons where he alleged a back injury that led to the fraudulent workers’ comp claim.

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