Florida Construction Company Accused of $700,000 Workers’ Comp Scam

BY: Koszdin | Thursday, January 4, 2018.

When companies abuse the workers’ compensation system, everybody loses. Not only are injured employees deprived of benefits, those who abuse the system end up facing stiff penalties and even jail time. Maria Cristina Romero Zelaya, owner of Miochosis Construction Inc, was arrested for allegedly failing to pay $700,00 in workers compensation premiums. As a result of Zelaya’s action, her employees were left uninsured. Sadly, abuse of the workers’ compensation system is nothing new. Although this case is in Florida, many states, such as California are now cracking down on illegal practices with tougher and stiffer penalties.

The Consequences Workers’ Compensation Fraud

Zelaya is accused of providing false information. According to authorities, she reported to the insurance underwriter that her payroll $200,000 and that her company provided only stucco and plastering services. Based on the information she provided, the Department of Financial Services determined her workers’ compensation premium would be $26,622. However, the DCF received a tip that Miochosis Construction Inc.’s payroll was much higher than reported. Based on the findings, the organization concluded Zelaya’s actual premium should have been $733,549. Zelaya was arrested by the DFS Division of Investigative and Forensic Services and was transported to Duval County County Jail. Zelaya was officially charged with concocting a scheme to defraud money from the government, illegally concealing payroll information and acting an unlicensed money transmitter. She now faces a penalty of up to 60 years in prison.

How Workers’ Compensation Fraud Affects Employees

Unfortunately, workers’ compensation fraud is much more common than most people expect. The consequences can be devastating for unsuspecting employees. Companies often commit these crimes with the goal of saving money. However, their actions result in their employees forced to accept inadequate workers’ compensation policies. With today’s skyrocketing medical costs, very few workers are able to afford the necessary medical treatment or procedures needed to return to their jobs. It also hurts the entire system. Workers compensation causes the disruption of free markets

Common Types of Workers’ Compensation Fraud in California

The State of California has no shortage of workers’ compensation fraud cases. Many often go unnoticed by authorities. Among the most common examples include:

  • Stolen premiums: Many dishonest businesses attempt to reduce the amount of premiums they owe to the government. A prime example is a case involving Miochosis Construction Inc. in Jacksonville, FL
  • Dishonest Doctors: Some doctors may resort to giving a false diagnosis and bill insurance companies for unnecessary treatments, tests, and medical procedures.
  • Dishonest Attorneys: Some medical facilities will hire lawyers will hire recruiters to bring workers into scams. The recruiters often receive illegal kickbacks

Have You Been the Victim of Workers’ Compensation Fraud? The Van Nuys Attorneys at Koszdin, Fields & Sherry Can Help

Each day, countless workers throughout Southern California are injured on the job. Many require workers’ compensation benefits to account for the time missed from work. Unfortunately, far too many claims are either underpaid or denied. The Van Nuys workers’ compensation attorneys at Koszdin, Fields & Sherry utilize an aggressive and comprehensive approach to help injured employees recover the proper benefits they deserve. When you have suffered a work-related illness or repetitive motion injury at the workplace, contact their law office in Van Nuys for a free initial consultation to discuss your case.

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