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Construction firm owner arrested for workers comp fraud

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The owner of a Miami construction company was arrested on several charges related to the falsification of workers compensation insurance applications, the Florida Department of Financial Services' Division of Insurance Fraud said.

Juan C. Garcia, owner of Miami-based Construction Forever L.L.C., falsely deflated his company's reported payroll with the intent to lower premium costs, officials of the division said Monday. An investigation conducted by the division revealed that Mr. Garcia claimed less than $150,000 in payroll costs while in reality having a payroll of more than $2 million.

“Garcia's actions caused a loss in excess of $350,000 to the Traveler's Insurance Co. and the Florida Workers' Compensation Joint Underwriting Association,” the Division of Insurance Fraud said in a statement announcing the arrest. “In addition to this monetary loss, Garcia's actions failed his employees by rendering them vulnerable to potential high-dollar medical and lost wage costs should they become injured while on the job.”

Mr. Garcia will be charged with first-degree counts of workers compensation fraud, grand theft and organized scheme to defraud, while an accomplice, Amaldo Pena, faces similar second-degree charges, the division said.