Trolley Driver Indicted for Fraud, Perjury for Allegedly Staging Phony Assault
BOSTON, Feb. 22, 2018—An MBTA trolley operator has been charged with fraudulently collecting workers’ compensation and disability insurance after allegedly paying an associate to attack him on the job in 2016, MBTA Transit Police Chief Kenneth Green and Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said today.
The Suffolk County Grand Jury yesterday returned indictments charging THOMAS LUCEY (D.O.B. 10/21/71) of Saugus with two counts of insurance fraud and single counts of workers’ compensation fraud, misleading a police investigation, and perjury.
“I’m very proud of my detectives,” Chief Green said. “The perseverance and professionalism displayed in this case is demonstrative of the daily commitment the Transit Police have to the public we serve.”
“Effective investigators follow the evidence wherever it leads,” District Attorney Conley said. “Here, it led us away from first appearances and toward a staged assault for financial gain. We allege that this was a deliberate deception and a crime. Every dollar spent on a fraudulent claim is a dollar that can’t go to someone who deserved it.”
“I want to express my sincere gratitude to Chief Green and his detectives for their diligent pursuit of the facts in this case,” said MBTA General Manager Luis Manuel Ramirez. “Programs like Workers’ Compensation are in place to benefit hard working employees with a strong commitment to public service. When someone abuses the system, we need to call it out, and state very clearly that such conduct will not be tolerated.”
MBTA Transit Police responded to Cedar Grove Station on the Mattapan Trolley line shortly after midnight on Oct. 30, 2016, after a man in dark coveralls wearing a “Michael Myers” Halloween mask and carrying a plastic pumpkin boarded the trolley and allegedly attacked Lucey, the operator. Lucey reported that the assailant pulled him out of the trolley and punched him repeatedly as he lay on the ground before fleeing the area. Lucey was transported to Carney Hospital after the assault.
Responding officers collected the plastic pumpkin left behind by the alleged assailant as he fled. Finger prints lifted from that pumpkin ultimately led to an acquaintance of Lucey who cooperated with the investigation. He made statements to Transit Police that Lucey had paid him $2,000 to take part in the planned “attack,” which was corroborated by bank records and phone records that showed communication between the two before and after the assault.
In the aftermath of the planned assault, Lucey filed paperwork to begin receiving workers’ compensation. On that paperwork, Lucey allegedly made false statements regarding the assault and signed the document under the pains and penalties of perjury. He also received long-term disability insurance, citing post-traumatic stress resulting from the incident.
MBTA Transit Police detectives investigated the assault and Assistant District Attorneys Cailin Campbell and David McGowan led the grand jury presentation. Lucey is represented by Steven Borelli. Arraignment in Suffolk Superior Court is expected to occur on March 20.
All defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.