An MBTA trolley driver allegedly staged being attacked while at work on the Mattapan trolley line in 2016 and is now facing criminal charges that he fraudulently collected workers’ compensation and private disability insurance.
Thomas Lucey was indicted by a Suffolk County grand jury on two counts of insurance fraud, misleading a police investigation, and perjury following an investigation by Transit Police and Suffolk prosecutors.
Lucey, 46 of Saugus, could not be reached for comment. His attorney, Stephen F. Borelli,
Lucey allegedly paid an associate $2,000 to beat him around midnight on Oct. 30, 2016, while the trolley was stopped at the Cedar Grove station in Dorchester, according to authorities. The assailant wore a Michael Myers mask, from the “Halloween” movie series, and is seen on Transit Police video running from the station.
Lucey’s alleged associate was linked to the fake attack because police discovered his fingerprint on a plastic pumpkin he left behind following the attack.
“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,’’ Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley’s office said in a joint statement.
Lucey obtained workers’ compensation payments, long-term disability payments that were based in part on a claim that he suffered post-traumatic stress from the fabricated incident. Lucey signed some of the documents that led to criminal prosecution for perjury.
“I’m very proud of my detectives,” Transit Police Chief Kenneth 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.”
MBTA General Manager Luis Manuel Ramirez said in the joint statement that the investigation into Lucey’s alleged crime was an abuse of the T’s worker compensation plan.
“Programs like Worker’s Compensation are in place to benefit hard-working employees with a strong commitment to public service,’’ he said. “When someone abuses the system, we need to call it out, and state very clearly that such conduct will not be tolerated.”
Lucey is expected to be arraigned in Suffolk Superior Court March 20.
“Effective investigators follow the evidence wherever it leads,” Conley said in a statement. “Here, it led us away from first appearances and toward a staged assault for financial gain. . . . Every dollar spent on a fraudulent claim is a dollar that can’t go to someone who deserved it.”
Following the incident, Governor Charlie Baker hadissued a statement, saying that “such a vicious and senseless violent attack on a public employee is unconscionable and intolerable and our thoughts and prayers are with the driver as he recovers.”
Baker spokesman Brendan Moss responded on the governor’s behalf Thursday.
“Governor Baker finds these allegations very troubling and appreciates the hard work of law enforcement and the District Attorney’s office,’’ he wrote in an e-mail.John R. Ellement can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @JREbosglobe.