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Flirting with Danger and Fraud

Senior Director of Strategic Alliances
LexisNexis Risk Solutions - Government

The hazards of working in a shipyard are many. While shipyard workers may have a fantastic view of the water, they don’t exactly have a corner office with glass walls. A fall from a very tall ship could cause serious injury, or even death. And there’s always the potential hazard of injury from heavy machinery, fires and explosions, and asbestosis and mesothelioma, which can cause cancer. (That’s why it’s important for shipyard workers be sure their employer carries workers compensation insurance in case an accident occurs.)

In May 2018, a Scarborough, Me., man named Michael Collins was an electrician at Bath Iron Works (BIW) in Bath, Me., when he filed a claim under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act. He stated that he had suffered a work-related injury that left him totally disabled. BIW did not contest the claim and Collins was approved to receive benefit payments and medical treatment payments.

Four months after filing the claim, the claims adjuster was suspicious that Collins may not be telling the full story. The insurance adjuster hired a private investigator to conduct surveillance on the supposedly injured man that claimed he was disabled. Over several months of surveillance, the adjuster discovered that Collins was working as a self-employed electrician, while receiving workers’ compensation benefits. (Definitely a much safer job as it relates to the dangers of height, but still dangerous because of the potential for electrocution. This guy must enjoy flirting with danger.)

Collins falsely claimed that he had not earned any money from employment or self-employment while receiving workers’ compensation benefits. (That was a blatant lie after being observed actively working as an electrician.) His indiscretion caused BIW to lose $12,682.74.

Collins was sentenced in the U.S. District Court in Portland for committing workers’ compensation fraud. The 63-year-old will serve three years of probation and pay full restitution to BIW for the crime against his employer.

Today’s Fraud of the Day comes from an article, “Former BIW employee from Scarborough sentenced for workers’ compensation fraud,” published by The Times Record on October 29, 2021.

A Scarborough man was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Portland Thursday for filing a false document in relation to a workers’ compensation claim, according to a news release from U.S. Attorney Darcie N. McElwee.

U.S. District Judge D. Brock Hornby sentenced Michael Collins, 63, to three years of probation. In addition, Judge Hornby ordered Collins to pay $12,682.74 in restitution to Bath Iron Works. Collins pleaded guilty on June 21.


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