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‘Respected businessman’ gives comp premiums no respect

Rodney Dangerfield comp

A Louisiana business owner who sits on two state boards has been sanctioned in two investigations that found he underpaid his drivers — allegedly to save on workers compensation premiums — and made up for the low salary with high mileage reimbursements.

The tricky compensation maneuver, uncovered by investigators, found that just one of businessman Lee Mallett’s companies paid 46 employees a total of $452,000 in wages and during the same time the company paid $553,000 in mileage reimbursements, according to a report that aired Wednesday on WVUE-TV in New Orleans.

Mr. Mallett owns several manufacturing and construction companies in the Lake Charles, Louisiana, area, according to the news outlet.

Meanwhile, the Louisiana State University Board of Supervisors website describes member Mr.  Mallett as a “respected businessman” who has created businesses “that support good-paying jobs and give back to the community.” He also serves as chairman of the State License Board of Contractors.

Yet he has been investigated twice by state agencies in relation to coverage under a state worker’s compensation program, a reporter noted.





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