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The owner of a construction firm in Palm Beach, Florida, was arrested this month after an alleged attempt to operate a shell company with the “sole intent of circumventing the state’s workers’ compensation laws,” Florida’s chief financial officer, Jimmy Patronis, announced on Monday.
Business owner Juan Jose Castro, obtained a workers compensation policy for JACM Construction Corp. April 25, 2017. When obtaining the policy, Castro indicated his business operated with an estimated annual payroll of $112,000 for work classified under the description of wallboard installation and carpentry, according to a press release.
Meanwhile, the state’s Department of Financial Services’ Bureau of Workers’ Comp Fraud and the Broward Sheriff’s Office was conducting a surveillance operation at a money-service business when a suspicious transaction for JACM Construction Corp. was identified. The transaction involved Mr. Castro, the president and sole registered agent of JACM, cashing 27 business-to-business checks totaling $127,025.37 — a single transaction surpassing Mr. Castro’s estimated yearly payroll, according to a press release.
Through further investigation, it was found that from Feb. 12, 2016, to Aug. 6, 2017, Mr. Castro cashed more than $8.4 million in payroll at various money-service businesses in Florida, investigators revealed.
As a result of his actions, Mr. Castro defrauded his insurance company by avoiding nearly $300,000 in premium payments, the statement said. He was arrested Aug. 11 and charged with workers comp premium fraud, a first-degree felony, and is being held with a $100,000 bond. He could face up to 10 years in prison, per the press release.
A Redondo Beach, California, woman accused of participating in a $150 million workers compensation insurance fraud scheme pleaded guilty Wednesday, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.