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Unlicensed labor broker pleads guilty to comp insurance fraud


An unlicensed New York labor broker pleaded guilty Wednesday to two felony counts of insurance fraud and fraudulent practices in connection with a scheme to evade paying workers compensation insurance premiums.

Salvador Almonte Jr. engaged in what prosecutors called an “extensive insurance fraud scheme” that resulted in the evasion of more than $1 million in premiums and that left more than a hundred construction workers underinsured.

Mr. Almonte, who will be required to pay $500,000 in restitution as part of the guilty plea, is scheduled to be sentenced in May.

According to authorities, Mr. Almonte admitted that he ran the scheme between January 2015 and late 2018, during which time he made false representations to insurers, including the New York State Insurance Fund, to secure workers comp insurance coverage at reduced prices.

Mr. Almonte told insurers his workers were performing tasks such as cleaning or interior carpentry when in reality they were engaged in high-rise superstructure construction projects, according to prosecutors.

He also refused to cooperate with the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board after injured workers submitted comp claims, prosecutors stated.