The Double Deception: Woman Jailed for Worker’s Compensation Scam Spanning Two States and $170K

Prison© George Tsartsianidis / Getty Images / Canva

HARRISBURG, PA — A Delaware woman has been handed a 5 to 10-year prison sentence following a brazen worker’s compensation scam that spanned two states, lasted over two years, and cost a Pennsylvania employer a whopping $170,000. This shocking revelation was announced by Attorney General Michelle Henry.

Victoria Newell-Brown, the mastermind behind this audacious scheme, used an alias ‘Victoria Stephens’ to dupe her employers in both Pennsylvania and Delaware. The 56-year-old pleaded guilty last October to ten felonies related to false injury claims she made while working at a Family Dollar store in Philadelphia and a restaurant in Delaware.

Newell-Brown, now sentenced, is also required to repay the full amount she swindled – $170,655 – as restitution.

Attorney General Henry expressed her condemnation of Newell-Brown’s actions, stating, “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.” She noted that Newell-Brown had received significant payouts from her employers over a period of more than two years.

The Office of Attorney General highlighted Newell-Brown’s extensive history of criminal convictions during the sentencing. Her rap sheet dates back to the 1980s, with a dozen prior convictions, most of which were felonies.

In her most recent scam, Newell-Brown claimed that she was severely injured from a fall while working at the Family Dollar store in 2019. She declared herself totally disabled, leading Family Dollar to cover her medical expenses and pay worker’s compensation and wage-loss benefits of $1,500 every two weeks. Newell-Brown pocketed these payments for over two years.

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But her deception didn’t stop there. In August 2019, she took up employment at a Delaware restaurant under the alias ‘Victoria Stephens’, using a different Social Security number to keep her Pennsylvania claims undetected. Just two months into her new job, she reported another fall, claiming the same injuries she had allegedly sustained in Pennsylvania.

Her deceit led the restaurant’s insurer to pay disability wage-loss benefits. As a result, Newell-Brown received payments from both Pennsylvania and Delaware until 2021.

To sustain her elaborate scheme, Newell-Brown resorted to persistent lies about her health, work history, medical history, and disability claim history to her employers, healthcare providers, judges, and others.

The Office of Attorney General’s investigation revealed that Newell-Brown had received over $97,000 in worker’s compensation and wage-loss benefits. Her employer also shelled out over $5,600 for her alleged medical expenses and an additional $70,000 in legal costs to challenge her claims.

Senior Deputy Attorney General M. Eric Schoenberg prosecuted the case. This shocking case serves as a stark reminder of the lengths some individuals will go to exploit systems designed to help genuine victims of workplace accidents.

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