Mass. Couple Indicted for Allegedly Destroying Barn for Insurance Monies

June 28, 2007

A Middleborough, Mass. couple have been indicted on charges they committed fraud when they attempted to collect insurance money for a barn they deliberately destroyed and then reported to be collapsed.

Officials said that Gina Driscoll, age 39, and Dennis Bell, age 34, both of Middleborough were indicted. Driscoll was charged with insurance fraud, conspiracy to commit insurance fraud and attempted larceny. Bell was charged with insurance fraud, conspiracy to commit insurance fraud, attempted larceny and malicious destruction of property over $250.

In December 2005, Driscoll reported to Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. that a wooden barn on her Middleborough property had collapsed, most likely due to strong winds. As part of her claim, Driscoll sought to collect the replacement value of the barn of approximately $27,500.

Liberty Mutual said it received an anonymous tip that the barn had been deliberately destroyed and the Insurance Fraud Bureau of Massachusetts (IFB) investigated. Authorities allege that eyewitnesses observed Driscoll’s live-in boyfriend, Bell, topple the barn with a snow plow attached to his pickup truck.

In February 2006, after analysis by a structural engineer, Liberty Mutual denied the claim.

A Plymouth County Grand Jury returned indictments against Driscoll and Bell. A Superior Court arraignment is scheduled for July 17, 2007.

The prosecutors assigned to this case are Assistant Attorneys General Glenn Cunha, chief of the Attorney General’s Insurance Fraud and Unemployment Fraud Division, and Brendan O’Shea. It was investigated by the IFB.

Source: Insurance Fraud Bureau of Massachusetts

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