BOSTON (CBS) – An MBTA trolley operator was indicted on charges that he hired an acquaintance to attack him on the job so he could fraudulently collect workers’ compensation.
A grand jury indicted 46-year-old Thomas Lucey of Saugus on two counts of insurance fraud and single counts of workers’ compensation fraud, misleading police and perjury.
MBTA Transit Police Superintendent Richard Sullivan called the case “especially upsetting.”
“It’s especially upsetting because it’s a public employee. These safeguards are in place to protect people who legitimately get hurt on the job,” Sullivan said.
Lucey was operating a trolley Oct. 30, 2016 on the Mattapan line just after midnight when a man wearing dark coveralls and a Michael Myers Halloween mask approached him while carrying a plastic pumpkin.
The trolley operator told police the suspect pulled him out of the trolley and punched him repeatedly before running from the area.
A surveillance camera capture the masked man running in the area.
Lucey was taken to Carney Hospital after the incident.
Officers lifted fingerprints from the plastic pumpkin, leading them to an acquaintance of Lucey’s.
The acquaintance told Transit Police that Lucey paid him $2,000 to carry out the attack. Bank records and phone records backed up the allegation, police said.
After Lucey was attacked, he filed for workers’ compensation and received long-term disability insurance. Lucey said he had post-traumatic stress resulting from the incident.
“Programs like Workers’ Compensation are in place to benefit hard working employees with a strong commitment to public service,” MBTA General Manager Luis Manuel Ramirez said. “When someone abuses the system, we need to call it out, and state very clearly that such conduct will not be tolerated.”
Lucey would not comment Thursday on the charges he is facing. He is expected to appear in court on March 20.
“Effective investigators follow the evidence wherever it leads,” District Attorney Dan 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.”