On June 16, 2022, the California Department of Insurance announced that Gamlet Abramian, a 47-year-old business owner from Los Angeles County, has been arraigned on workers’ compensation fraud charges. Prosecutors contend that Mr. Abramian knowingly and willfully misreported payroll, thereby underpaying workers’ compensation insurance premiums by at least $212,667.00. Here, our Fresno workers’ compensation defense lawyer discusses the workers’ compensation fraud charges.
Allegations: California Business Owner Reported Zero Employees for Workers’ Compensation
According to the complaint filed in a California court, Gamlet Abramian is the owner or manager of three separate limousine companies that operate in the Los Angeles areas. The companies are called D&D Limo, Superior Enterprise, and On Time Coach Executive. An investigation into these businesses was initiated after state regulators observed that Mr. Abramian did not report any employees for the purposes of workers’ compensation. However, investigators contend that the companies had between five and twelve drivers at various points during the investigation.
In California, all employers are legally obligated to obtain no-fault workers’ compensation insurance coverage for their workforce—which includes part-time employees. The period of review in this case runs from the early part of the Summer 2018 through the end of the Summer 2020. During that time, Mr. Abramian’s companies reported no payroll expenses and paid no workers’ compensation premiums. In total, investigators allege at least $212,667.00 in underpaid premiums to the insurer and the state fund. Mr. Abramian is facing a felony criminal workers’ compensation fraud charge.
State Authorities Put an Emphasis on Accurate Payroll Reporting by Employers
The workers’ compensation premium paid by an employer is determined based on a few separate factors. One of the primary factors in a company’s total payroll. California regulators put an emphasis on making sure that employer’s report accurate payroll. If they fail to do so, their workers’ compensation rate will not be correct. As part of its charter, the California Department of Insurance is responsible for protecting all parties from unnecessarily high workers’ compensation premiums due to the underreporting of payroll by bad actors.
It is a criminal offense for an employer or business owner to knowingly underreport their payroll with the intent to reduce their workers’ compensation premiums. An individual that underreports payroll can be arrested and charged with a serious felony offense. Other types of workers’ compensation fraud can also be charged as a felony, including fraud committed by an employee or a health care provider.
At Yrulegui & Roberts, our Fresno workers’ compensation defense lawyers have the professional experience and legal expertise that clients can trust. If you have any specific questions or concerns about workers’ compensation fraud, we are here as a legal resource. Call us now or send us a message to set up a completely confidential case evaluation. We provide workers’ compensation representation in Fresno, Fresno County, and throughout the entire San Joaquin Valley.