Florida couple looking at prison over workers' comp scam

They each face up to ten years in federal prison

Florida couple looking at prison over workers' comp scam

Workers Comp

By Ryan Smith

A Florida couple has pleaded guilty to charges related to a worker’s compensation scam, according to the Department of Justice.

Guillermo Inamagua, 56, and Mayra Vlasquez, 34, have each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States.

According to the Justice Department, Inamagua and Velasquez each owned and managed a construction company that they had registered with the state of Florida. Inmagua’s company was called First Construction, while Velasquez’s was called Best Construction. Each company purported to supply construction services and a labor force to work for construction contractors. They were therefore required to secure and maintain adequate workers’ compensation insurance coverage.

Find out what does workers comp insurance in Florida cover and what isn't cover here.

Workers’ compensation insurance providers base the premiums they charge on the number of employees at a company and the total annual payroll of those employees.  The couple’s companies each had agreements with contractors and subcontractors to use workers that were supposedly their companies’ employees at construction sites, according to the Justice Department. These workers were often undocumented immigrants who were actually working for the contractors. Inamagua and Velsquez would regularly receive “payroll checks” from these contractors and cash them at various financial institutions to pay the purported “employees” of First and Best Construction.

Find out the best best workers’ comp insurance providers in the US offering the best workers’ comp insurance policies here.

According to the Justice Department, Inamagua and Velasquez each fraudulently represented in their insurance applications that they had a very small payroll and a very limited number of employees worked on their construction sites. They also falsely told numerous contractors that their employees had adequate workers’ compensation coverage.

In reality, Inamagua’s company received and cashed more than $18 million in checks from various contractors for his purported employees, while Velasquez’s company cashed more than $7 million in checks. Both these figures far exceeded the limited payroll numbers that the couple had reported to their workers’ compensation insurers.

Inamagua and Velaasquez each face up to 10 years in federal prison. A sentencing date has not yet been set.

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