Contractor charged with 15 felony counts over alleged workers' comp fraud

Contractor charged with 15 felony counts over alleged workers' comp fraud | Insurance Business America

Contractor charged with 15 felony counts over alleged workers' comp fraud

A Stockton, CA man has been arraigned on 15 felony counts of insurance fraud grand theft and tax evasion, for allegedly misrepresenting the payroll for his farm labor contracting business.

On March 06, 2019, the California Department of Insurance (CDI) received a referral from an insurance company about Alfredo Casas, 62, and his business AC Farm Ag Inc. The referral alleged that AC Farm Ag reported no payroll in order to receive a reduced rate for workers’ compensation insurance.

A joint investigation and search warrant service conducted by the CDI and the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office uncovered that Casas not only failed to disclose payroll, but also did not reveal details on previous insurance claims, and policy cancellations. Casas also failed to provide accurate job descriptions for his employees.

It was also found by investigators that Casas operated for more than two years as Casas Farm Services using fake Certificates of Insurance, forged Department of Industrial Relations Farm Labor Contractor permits, false San Joaquin County Agriculture permits and documents he obtained from the state’s Labor and Workforce Development Agency through fraudulent means.

Casas’ $1.8 million underreporting resulted in a “substantial” loss to two insurance companies and the State Compensation Insurance Fund, CDI said. The insurance regulator also noted that this is not even the first time he has been charged for fraud, as Casas was convicted on similar workers’ compensation fraud charges in 2012. During that previous conviction, Casas’ business was found uninsurable by State Fund, but he allegedly renamed and restructured his business, appointing family members as officers in order to obtain workers’ compensation insurance.

In an official release, CDI said that Casas is scheduled to return to court on February 10, 2022 for further arraignment.