California Contractor Arrested in Nearly $1M Workers’ Comp Scheme
Carolyn Plaza of Fresno, Calif., self-surrendered on May 6 after a warrant for her arrest was issued on six felony counts of insurance fraud.
A complaint filed on April 16, alleges Plaza underreported more than $3 million in employee payroll in order to fraudulently reduce her company’s workers’ compensation insurance premium by nearly $1 million.
Plaza, 41, is the co-owner of Absolute Urethane Inc., a construction contracting business serving the Fresno and surrounding Central Valley areas. The California Department of Insurance began an investigation after receiving a tip from the State Compensation Insurance Fund alleging Plaza had manipulated payroll reports to avoid paying higher insurance premiums.
The CDI investigation reportedly revealed that Plaza had provided false payroll records to State Fund for multiple policy years. After comparing those payroll records to the records she reported to the Employment Development Department, the investigation discovered that Plaza underreported $3,146,863 in employee payroll over five years. Plaza’s underreporting reportedly resulted in a $985,091 loss in premium to State Fund.
Arraignment is scheduled for June 28 in the Fresno County Superior Court. The Fresno County District Attorney’s Office is prosecuting the case.
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