DCF employee charged with workers’ compensation fraud

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH)-  A child services worker for the State of Connecticut Department of Children and Families (DCF) was arrested today and charged with fraudulently collecting Workers’ Compensation benefits.

Michael J. Pacelia, 40, of 0015 Maple St. Chester, was charged with one count of Fraudulent Claim or Receipt of Benefits, a class B felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison and/or a $15,000 fine.

According to the arrest warrant affidavit, Pacelia collected $11,892 in disability benefits after reporting an on-the-job injury in May 2014 that supposedly left him unable to work. Subsequent video surveillance showed him working in his yard and playing golf, the warrant states.

Pacelia, who is currently on administrative leave from DCF, was released on a written promise to appear in Middletown Superior Court, on April 1, 2015. The charge is merely an allegation and he is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

This case is being prosecuted by the Workers’ Compensation Fraud Control Bureau in the Office of the Chief State’s Attorney.

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