Think a few white lies to lower your workers’ comp premium are no big deal? In recent news, a Florida construction company owner discovered just how quickly a workers comp insurance scam can land him in jail.
Save Now… Pay Later
Underreporting staff size, annual payroll, and the scope of his Jacksonville-based company’s work saved 50-year-old Carlos Contreras, owner of DJC Builders & Construction, more than $1,000,000 in premiums. However once Contreras' fraudulent reporting was uncovered, his illegal activities landed him in jail.
Big Little Lies
Claiming his business’ annual payroll was $273,786 resulted in an annual workers comp premium of $25,311 for Contreras - who actually cashed 620 payroll checks for nearly $6,500,000 through assorted money service businesses located across the state. Had he been honest, his true annual workers comp premium would have been $1,217,161. Contreras’ workers comp insurance scam defrauded his insurance company of more than $1,000,000.
A Lose-Lose Situation
The workers comp insurance scam left Contreras’ employees vulnerable for covering massive medical costs in the event of on-the-job injury. This type of scam also allows shady service providers, such as Contreras, to underbid other legitimate competitors.
Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis refused to let these acts stand, calling it ‘a lose-lose situation for Florida that he would not stand for. Patronis had Contreras arrested this past October on charges of knowingly concealing payroll and scheming to defraud the insurance company. If convicted by the Duval County State Attorney’s Office, Contreras will face up to 60 years in prison.
Struggling with workers comp insurance costs? Clean up your act the right way with the help of Minnesota Comp Advisor today.