CA: Stockton farm labor contractor indicted on 15 counts of alleged $ 1.8 million workers? ? Tax evasion system
- Workers Compensation.com
Stockton, Calif. (WorkersCompensation.com) – Alfredo Casas, 62, of Stockton, has been arraigned on 15 counts of insurance fraud, robbery and tax evasion. Casas is said to have under-reported the payroll of his farm labor subcontracting business by more than $ 1 million, resulting in a substantial loss for two insurance companies and the Compensation Insurance Fund of the State (State Fund).
“California businesses and consumers pay the price when some business owners trick the system by illegally underreporting employees and wages,” Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara said. “We all pay for this type of fraud through premiums and higher service costs. My department is committed to investigating fraud to protect consumers and businesses. “
Casas was convicted of similar charges of workers’ compensation fraud in 2012. As part of this conviction, Casas’s business was found to be uninsurable by the State Fund. However, Casas is said to have renamed and restructured his business using family members as managers, allowing him to obtain new workers’ compensation insurance policies.
On March 6, 2019, the Department of Insurance received a recommendation from an insurance company alleging that Casas’ company, AC Farm Ag Inc., was not reporting any payroll in order to benefit from a reduced rate for the insurance against accidents at work. By not declaring any payrolls throughout the calendar year, Casas paid a lower premium rate than he was entitled to receive.
A joint investigation and search warrant service conducted by the Department of Insurance and the San Joaquin County Attorney’s Office found that Casas did not disclose payroll, previous insurance claims and policy cancellations and failed to provide correct job descriptions for its employees. Casas also operated for over two years as Casas Farm Services using fake insurance certificates, fake agricultural labor contractor’s permits from the Department of Industrial Relations, fake farming permits from the San Joaquin County and documents he obtained from the state Labor and Manpower Development Agency by fraud.
Under state law, employers are required to maintain workers’ compensation insurance to protect their employees in the event of a workplace accident. To ensure adequate coverage, employers must accurately report the number of employees, job classifications and the amount of payroll spent. One of the common ways employers avoid paying insurance premiums is by underreporting a company’s payroll by providing false payroll reports to their insurance company.
Casas is expected to return to court on February 10, 2022, for a new indictment. This case is being pursued by the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office.
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