The Alameda County Attorney’s Office and the California Department of Insurance on Monday announced charges against several suspects in an organized program of insurance and workers’ compensation fraud that allegedly defrauded more insurance companies. of $ 5 million in estimated losses.
The former owners of Signature Painting and Construction Inc, Eric Andrew Oller and Brian Christopher Mitchell, have each been charged with one count of conspiracy to commit a felony, six counts each of insurance fraud and two counts of workers’ compensation fraud.
SPC is based in Walnut Creek, but operates throughout the Bay Area.
Defendant Yama Sekander, owner of A-1 World Class Painting, has also been charged with one count of workers’ compensation fraud.
Oller is also the owner of Valhalla Consulting, which, along with A-1, was allegedly used as a shell company by Mitchell to pay SPC employees.
From 2017 to 2018, SPC reportedly paid its employees using VC’s bank account, with the intention of illegally reducing its health insurance premium for workers. SPC allegedly distorted the information or failed to include information about its corporate structure and wage costs to its insurance companies in order to illegally reduce its insurance premiums.
It is alleged that Mitchell illegally misclassified employees and underreported wage costs in order to reduce workers’ health insurance premiums. It is alleged that Mitchell misclassified several of these employees in order to reduce the cost of bonuses.
Mitchell and Oller are also accused of making deals to move employees from one company to another in order to save money on workers’ health insurance. Mitchell is accused of using Sekander’s company, A-1, to obtain a workers’ compensation insurance policy for his company, SPC.
The allegations also include that some SSC employees have been paid “in the dark” so the company can avoid paying or filing the appropriate taxes. The defendants also reportedly asked some injured employees to report working for one company when in fact they were working for another.
State Compensation Insurance Fund insurance company suffered a reported loss of $ 3.1 million in premium payments, while AmTrust’s loss was $ 1.9 million.
The investigation of the defendants began in 2019 after the SCIF submitted a referral for fraud to the CDI. The fraud started in 2015.
Charges were laid at the end of August and the three defendants were brought to justice on the morning of September 20. Their next trial will be on November 18.
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