Safety and OSHA News

Employee sets up fake assault to collect workers’ comp, according to authorities

A mass transit trolley operator has been indicted for allegedly paying an acquaintance to assault him on the job so he could collect workers’ comp benefits. A plastic Halloween pumpkin helped crack the case. 

A grand jury in Massachusetts returned indictments charging Thomas Lucey of Saugus, MA, with:

  • two counts of insurance fraud
  • one count of workers’ comp fraud
  • misleading a police investigation, and
  • perjury.

Lucey worked for the MBTA.

On Oct. 30, 2016, a man wearing a Michael Myers Halloween mask and carrying a plastic pumpkin boarded a trolley and allegedly attacked Lucey, who said the assailant pulled him out of the trolley and punched him repeatedly while he was on the ground. Lucey was taken to a hospital for treatment.

The alleged attacker dropped the plastic pumpkin as he fled the scene. Fingerprints from the pumpkin led to an acquaintance of Lucey who cooperated with the investigation. The acquaintance says Lucey paid him $2,000 to take part in the planned attack. Bank and phone records corroborated the story.

After the attack, Lucey filed paperwork to receive workers’ comp. On that paperwork, Lucey allegedly made false statements regarding the assault. Lucey also received long-term disability insurance, citing post-traumatic stress.

MBTA Transit Police detectives investigated.

The Boston Herald says at the time of the indictments, Lucey was still collecting workers’ comp and disability. The MBTA says it has “initiated appropriate disciplinary actions” against him.

The case was “a staged assault for financial gain,” according to Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel Conley.

“We allege that this was a deliberate deception and a crime,” Conley said. “Every dollar spent on a fraudulent claim is a dollar that can’t go to someone who deserved it.”

“When someone abuses the system, we need to call it out,” said MBTA General Manager Luis Manuel Ramirez. “Such conduct will not be tolerated.”

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  1. Tom Rezner, Ph.D.,SPHR, CSM says:

    Jail sounds like a proper remedy.

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