According to a report from the Insurance Journal, a farm labor contractor from San Joaquin County, California is facing 15 felony criminal charges related to his role in a complex workers’ compensation fraud scheme. The 62-year-old Alfredo Casas allegedly underreported his company’s payroll by more than $1 million—thereby causing major losses for private insurance companies as well as the state’s workers’ compensation fund. Below, our Sacramento workers’ compensation defense attorneys discuss the workers’ compensation fraud charges filed in this case.
Allegations: Labor Contractor Failed to Report Payroll, Defrauded Workers’ Compensation
Alfredo Casas is the primary owner and operator of a business called AC Farm Ag Inc.—a company providing labor contracting services in the agricultural industry. In March 2019, the California Department of Insurance reported that it received a complaint from a private insurance company regarding Mr. Casas and his business.
State regulators initiated an investigation into allegations that Mr. Casas had failed to properly report his company’s payroll, thereby underpaying workers’ compensation. The investigation determined that Mr. Casas underreported payroll by more than $1 million over two separate calendar years. As a consequence, his company received a workers’ compensation insurance rate that was far lower than the firm was actually entitled to under California state law.
Previous Misconduct: 2012 Workers’ Compensation Fraud Conviction
Notably, California insurance regulators report that Mr. Casas was previously convicted of workers’ compensation fraud in 2012. One of the results of that conviction was that Mr. Casas and his business was determined to be permanently “uninsurable” under the California State Compensation Insurance Fund. However, authorities believe that Mr. Casas restructured his company and put things in the name of family members in order to get around that restriction. He is being accused of defrauding two private insurance companies as well as the state workers’ compensation fund.
Criminal Charges: Felony Workers’ Compensation Fraud
For his role in the alleged workers’ compensation fraud scheme, Mr. Casas is facing a wide range of criminal charges. In total, he is facing 15 different felony counts—including charges such as state tax evasion and grand theft. Additionally, he is facing a felony workers’ compensation fraud charge that carries significant potential jail time and major monetary penalties.
California law is clear: All business owners are required to obtain workers’ compensation coverage for their employees. In order to ensure that the right coverage is in place, employers must accurately report their payroll. The intentional underreporting of payroll is one of the most common ways in which parties defraud the workers’ compensation system in California.
Set Up a Confidential Consultation With a Workers’ Compensation Defense Lawyer in California
At Yrulegui & Roberts, we are a workers’ compensation defense law firm dedicated to high level, attentive legal representation. If you have any questions about protecting your rights or interests against workers’ compensation fraud, we can help. Call us now or get in touch with us online for a confidential case evaluation. We provide workers’ compensation defense legal services throughout the region, including in Sacramento, Fresno, Bakersfield, Salinas, Rancho Cordova, Folsom, Rosemont, and Davis.