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New York contractor arrested in comp fraud scheme

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The owner of a Queens, New York, building contracting company has been arrested on several workers compensation fraud charges stemming from a construction project at New York University buildings in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Gerard Marino, 41, owner of GMCM Contracting Corp. in Astoria, allegedly falsified proof of insurance, left employees without workers compensation coverage, and stole more than $56,000 in insurance premiums that another construction company was ultimately forced to cover during construction at both campuses, New York State Inspector General Catherine Leahy Scott said Friday in a statement.

His felony counts include grand larceny, insurance fraud, falsifying business records, and criminal possession of a forged instrument, according to the statement.

In 2014, Mr. Marino allegedly aimed to become a construction subcontractor on the project and needed to prove to the primary contractor that he had comp coverage for his own employees. Meanwhile, the investigation found that the insurance coverage for Mr. Marino’s company was canceled in late 2013 — proof that Mr. Marino provided certificates that were falsified and fraudulent, according to investigators.

As a result of the alleged fraud, the primary construction company on the project was required to pay about $56,410 in workers compensation insurance premiums for Mr. Marino’s employees at GMCM Contracting Corp., according to the statement.

“This defendant’s brazen theft and acts of fraud gave him an unfair advantage over honest contractors and left his employees without critical insurance coverage to protect their wellbeing,” said New York Inspector General Leahy Scott in the statement.

Attempts to contact GMCM Contracting Corp. were unsuccessful.