A Californian woman was charged and convicted of workers’ compensation fraud last year and the penalties are so severe that they should serve as a warning to the consequences of attempting to skirt the law in this state.
Aileen Ramirez used to be the owner and chief executive of Quality Employment Services, LLC. Prosecutors say that the firm provided temporary workers to cover absences and other shortages from seasonal and holiday work. She obtained a workers’ compensation policy for the company in February 2012 and had it through August of 2014.
Where Ramirez got in trouble, and an area where many state employers fall short, was with reporting payroll to the State Fund. This information helps the Fund set premium rates for employers throughout the state. If someone underreports their payroll numbers, they cause everyone’s premiums to go up. When prosecutors began investigating her, they found that not only had she underreported payroll, but she also reported that she had fewer employees than she really had.
If you find yourself in a similar situation, the best thing you can do is secure a Los Angeles workers’ compensation defense attorney to have your back. The possible penalties are too high not to.
Penalties for workers’ compensation fraud are nowhere near as light as they are for having uninsured workers. Take Aileen Ramirez for example. As part of her conviction, she was ordered to serve 120 hours of community service and will be on probation for three years. Not only that, but she was ordered to pay restitution of more than $525,000 to the State Compensation Insurance Fund.
She was lucky to avoid jail time, but that can also happen to those convicted of fraud.
The state of California takes the cases very seriously because they cost everyone money. This is not the only way that workers’ compensation fraud is committed. The problem is pervasive and some estimates say it costs California anywhere between $1 to $3 billion a year.
We realize that many businesses get creative when attempting to save money where they can, but we have to ask the question – is it worth it in the long run considering the possible jail and monetary penalties a conviction can bring?
An arrest and conviction can be detrimental to a person’s business and personal life. However, mistakes are made. When you seek out an attorney to defend you, do your homework. Find a firm with experience in this area of law that understands every California statute relating to workers’ compensation.
At Sacks & Zolonz, LLP, you can count on our award-winning team to build a solid defense around you when you need a workers’ compensation defense attorney in Los Angeles. You can contact us for a free consultation by clicking here or calling 310-216-7778. We will work diligently to ensure you can get through this and get back to living a normal life by minimizing the potential consequences you could face.