Woman Jailed At Least 5 Years, Ordered to Pay Restitution for Elaborate Worker’s Compensation Scam

February 27, 2024 | Topic: Criminal

HARRISBURG — Attorney General Michelle Henry announced that a Delaware woman will serve 5 to 10 years in state prison for a worker’s compensation scam that spanned 2½ years, two states, and cost a Pennsylvania employer more than $170,000.

Victoria Newell-Brown, who used the alias “Victoria Stephens” in the scam, pleaded guilty in October to ten felonies regarding claims she made over injuries she reportedly sustained while working at a Family Dollar store in Philadelphia and a restaurant in Delaware.

A Delaware County Judge sentenced Newell-Brown, 56, on Monday to the prison term, which includes an order to pay $170,655 in restitution owed.

“The defendant’s latest criminal episode lined her pockets while making a mockery of a system designed to help hardworking people who are injured at their jobs,” Attorney General Henry said. “This scam endured for more than two years, with the defendant receiving significant payouts from her employers.”

At sentencing, the Office of Attorney General emphasized Newell-Brown’s long history of criminal convictions, which date back to the 1980s and involve a dozen prior convictions, most of which were felonies.

Regarding the worker’s compensation scam, Newell-Brown claimed that, in 2019, she was hurt from a fall while working at the Family Dollar store. Newell-Brown claimed she was totally disabled from the fall, so Family Dollar paid medical expenses, as well as worker’s compensation and wage-loss benefits for $1,500 every two weeks. Newell-Brown received that payment for more than two years.

In August 2019, Newell-Brown took a job at a Delaware restaurant, using a different Social Security number and the “Victoria Stephens” alias, so her claims in Pennsylvania would not be discovered. Two months later, she reported she was hurt — claiming the same injuries sustained in Pennsylvania — from a fall at the restaurant.

The restaurant’s insurer paid disability wage-loss benefits, and Newell-Brown received payments from both states until 2021.

In order to maintain her scheme, Newell-Brown repeatedly lied to her employer, health care providers, judges, and others about her health, work history, medical history, and disability claim history.

According to the Office of Attorney General investigation, Newell-Brown received over $97,000 in worker’s compensation and wage-loss benefits, with her employer also paying over $5,600 of her medical expenses. Her employer also paid an additional $70,000 in legal costs challenging her claims.

The case was prosecuted by Senior Deputy Attorney General M. Eric Schoenberg.

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