According to a report from The Mercury News, a former California sheriff’s reserves leader has been charged as part of an investigation into a $17 million workers’ compensation fraud case. If the allegations are proven true, the alleged workers’ compensation fraud represents the single largest ever reported in Orange County and the second largest reported in the history of the State of California. In this article, our Sacramento workers’ compensation defense attorneys discuss the multi-million workers’ compensation fraud scheme.
Allegations: Former Sheriff Reserve Leader Failed to Obtain Insurance, Misstated Number of Employees
Simon Seman is a former volunteer reverse leader with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. Mr. Seman is now facing criminal workers’ compensation fraud charges in relation to misconduct involving several companies that he owned and operated. Prosecutors contend that this individual defrauded the state’s workers’ compensation insurance program out of approximately $17 million.
Officials allege that Mr. Seman owned and operated multiple private security companies in California. He failed to obtain workers’ compensation insurance for employees of his company PacWest Security Services—a direct violation of California law. For another company, PSSM Inc., he allegedly underreported the number of employees, thereby paying fair lower insurance premiums.
Defendant Faces Significant Criminal and Civil Liability for Workers’ Compensation Fraud
The allegations being raised in this case are significant—with prosecutors alleging losses of $17 million, it would be the second largest workers’ compensation fraud scheme in California history. Mr. Semaan is facing significant criminal and civil liability. He has been charged with seven white collar felony offenses, carrying a maximum potential sentence of 16 years in prison. Workers’ compensation fraud in excess of $500,000.00 is subject to enhanced criminal penalties. In addition, Mr. Semaan is also facing civil liability for defrauding the state’s workers’ compensation program.
Workers’ Compensation Fraud Undermines the Entire System
Workers’ compensation fraud is a serious criminal offense in California. State authorities have noted their intention to crack down on all types of workers’ compensation fraud schemes—from employers fraudulently getting reduced insurance premiums by failing to report the proper number of workers to employees filing for benefits by dramatically overstating the severity of an injury or impairment.
As a representative of the Orange County District Attorney’s Office told reporters in relation to this workers’ compensation fraud case, enforcement action is required to stop fraud as a “protecting legitimate business owners who follow the law and play by the rules.” When California’s workers’ compensation system is defrauded, all parties—employers, insurers, and workers—end up paying more.
Call Our Fresno, CA Workers’ Compensation Defense Lawyers Today
At Yrulegui & Roberts, our Fresno workers’ compensation defense law firm works tirelessly to protect the legal rights and financial interests of our clients. If you have questions about defending workers’ compensation claims, we are here to help. Call us now or contact our law firm online to arrange your confidential initial case evaluation. We provide workers’ compensation defense representation throughout Central California, including in Fresno, Bakersfield, Sacramento, San Luis Obispo.