Officials in one California County have lowered the boom on five individuals that were trying to milk the system.
The Riverside County District Attorney’s Office recently charged five owners, operators, and employees of a Corona-based paving company in a case involving wage theft, premium fraud, workers compensation fraud, and payroll fraud.
Charged and arrested with various fraud-related counts are:
Sabas Trujillo, DOB: 2-28-79, of Corona; Lucia Trujillo, DOB: 7-15-75, of Corona; Rick Trujillo, DOB: 5-20-77, of Corona; Laura Fitzpartick, DOB: 2-13-83, of Anaheim Hills; and Alex Trujillo, DOB: 9-11-87, of Pacoima. Sabas and Lucia Trujillo are married and Rick Trujillo is Sabas Trujillo’s older brother.
The three own and operate United Paving and Prestige Striping where Fitzpatrick and Alex Trujillo (no relation to the other Trujillos) are employed. The companies pave and re-pave streets and parking lots nationwide.
Some of the allegations in this case include: insurance premium fraud, workers being paid less than prevailing wages as agreed to in a contract, taking or receiving a portion of workers’ wages, preparing false documents for submission to a government agency, and denying an employee workers comp benefits.
Suspects Alleged to Have Illegally Obtained Nearly $4M
It is alleged that the actions of those charged allowed them to illegally obtain about $4 million. Civil documents have also been filed by the DA’s Office which was freezing $6 million in assets of those charged.
About two years ago, dozens of then-current and former employees of the companies made complaints to the Inland Empire Premium Task Force saying they believed they had been cheated. The task force is comprised of representatives from the Riverside and San Bernardino county DA’s Offices, the state Labor Commissioner’s Office, Department of Insurance, and the Employment Development Department.
An investigation was initiated which led to the service of search warrants at both companies. Computers, bank, payroll, and other documents were seized and examined requiring several wage audits to be conducted on several hundred projects which ultimately led to the filing of criminal charges.
“These types of crimes, or fraud, have a significant detrimental impact upon the economy of the state. They also impact not only the involved worker but also the competitive businesses that are properly following state law,” Riverside County District Attorney Paul Zellerbach said. “It is always important to ensure that all businesses can compete on an even playing field and that they all appropriately follow the same rules and regulations.”
Author Kori Shafer-Stack, Editor, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in post-injury response procedures and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com. Contact: email@example.com.
©2014 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law.
WORK COMP CALCULATOR: http://www.LowerWC.com/calculator.php
MODIFIED DUTY CALCULATOR: http://www.LowerWC.com/transitional-duty-cost-calculator.php
SUBSCRIBE: Workers Comp Resource Center Newsletter