Workers' Compensation

Maine: “Injured” Worker’s Clandestine Business Operation Results in “Theft by Deception” Conviction

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Supreme Judicial Court of Maine affirmed the conviction entered in the trial court on a jury verdict finding a person receiving workers’ compensation disability benefits guilty of theft by deception. The defendant received more than $50,000 in benefits following an injury to his left hand. The insurer became suspicious regarding the defendant’s activities and hired a private investigator to conduct surveillance of the defendant on five separate days over a six-month period. The investigator captured video showing the defendant working full-time at a small-engine repair shop and performing various tasks there, including changing tires, performing oil changes, swinging a hammer, repairing lawn mowers, and accepting cash payment. Defendant was documented opening and closing the shop, often working eight-hour days or longer, and wearing a uniform displaying the name Littleton Repair with his first name embroidered on it. Defendant admitted at a workers’ compensation hearing that both telephone numbers displayed on the Littleton Repair business sign were in his name, but he claimed that his son owned and operated the business and that he was never paid for his work. The Court held sufficient evidence was presented to show that the defendant repeatedly made deceptive representations both about his ability to work and that he was not working or receiving income from labor.

Thomas A. Robinson, J.D., the Feature National Columnist for the LexisNexis Workers’ Compensation eNewsletter, is the co-author of Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law (LexisNexis).

LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance. Bracketed citations link to lexis.com.

See State v. Tucker, 2015 ME 68, 2015 Me. LEXIS 74 (May 19, 2015) [2015 ME 68, 2015 Me. LEXIS 74 (May 19, 2015)]

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 39.03 [39.03]

Source: Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, the nation’s leading authority on workers’ compensation law.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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