The owner and operator of an Arlington, Massachusetts-based insurance agency was found guilty by a federal jury in Boston of fraudulently receiving government disability benefits.
Patrick Quinn, an ex-Marine who said he was disabled due to multiple service-related physical injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTS), was convicted on April 12 of two counts of theft of public funds and two counts of misrepresentation. . The guilty verdict came after a six-day jury trial.
According to the U.S. Attorney in Massachusetts, Quinn was arrested and charged in December 2019. According to prosecutors, since January 2012, Quinn has stolen more than $420,000 in benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Social Security Administration ( SSA) by falsely claiming that he was unable to work due to a disability, when in reality he owned and operated his own insurance agency.
Prosecutors said evidence presented at trial indicated Quinn had been self-employed as the owner and operator of Shannon Francis & Quinn Insurance, which later became Quinn Group Insurance Agency, since at least March 2003 – contrary to what he claimed VA and SSA. Quinn also served as president, treasurer, secretary and director of Insurance Management Consultants, Inc. from 2000 to 2007, though he told the VA and SSA the company fired him in 2005.
In his defense, attorneys for Quinn argued that the VA and SSA regulations that prosecutors relied on were unconstitutionally vague, questionable and uncertain as to what constitutes “substantial gainful activity” and that the regulations did not tell a veteran like Quinn how they might apply to his situation.
Quinn’s attorneys requested an acquittal and indicated they would seek a new trial.
Prosecutors told jurors that while claiming a disability, Quinn operated her insurance company and regularly received payments ranging from $6,500 to $15,000. They said he had grown his business significantly through the acquisition of nine small insurance agencies at various times between 2012 and 2019.
Prosecutors provided a timeline of Quinn’s benefit claims. In October 1995, shortly after being discharged from the United States Marine Corps, Quinn applied for and was approved for disability compensation benefits with the VA based on a series of physical injuries. and, later, post-traumatic stress disorder.
In March 2005, Quinn applied for Individual Unemployment (IU) benefits from the VA, which are paid to people unable to maintain substantially gainful employment due to their service-related disabilities. In the application, Quinn claimed that his PTSD prevented him from obtaining or pursuing any substantially gainful occupation and that he had become too disabled to work.
In support of his claim, Quinn submitted a letter from his purported end employer, Insurance Management Consultants, Inc., claiming that Quinn had been terminated due to his erratic behavior and was no longer employed by the company. While receiving UI benefits, Quinn completed and returned four VA employment questionnaires, in each of which he attested that he had not worked in the previous year, prosecutors say.
Similarly, in November 2005, Quinn applied for and was approved for disability insurance benefits with Social Security, this time claiming that he had become unable to work due to his disabling condition in September 2004.
In June 2006, Quinn applied for child insurance benefits, which are paid to the dependent of a disabled person receiving disability insurance benefits, on behalf of her minor child.
Social Security recipients are required to report if they return to work with SSA. In May 2018, Quinn reported to SSA that he had not worked since May 2006. SSA continued to pay benefits to Quinn and his son based on this report.
Lawyers Tracy A. Miner and Christina N. Lindberg, of the Boston firm Miner Siddall, represented Quinn.
“This is not a typical benefits fraud prosecution,” Quinn’s attorneys wrote, seeking an acquittal. “No one disputes that Defendant Patrick Quinn is a military veteran with a number of significant disabilities and has had specific service-related disabilities for years which the VA has assessed and rated for their severity and their impact on the defendant’s ability to function.The regulations upon which these prosecutions are based involve whether or not he was engaged in a “substantial gainful occupation” and are unconstitutionally vague, highly debatable and so uncertain that people of average intelligence are forced to guess their meaning.
U.S. District Court Judge Richard G. Stearns has sentenced Aug. 17, 2022. The theft of public funds charge carries a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, three years in freedom supervised and a fine of $250,000 or double. gross gain or loss, whichever is greater. The misrepresentation charge carries a sentence of up to five years in prison, three years of probation and a fine of $250,000 or double the gross gain or loss, whichever is greater.
Source: US Attorney for the District of Massachusetts
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