What’s in Your Toolbox?

Construction worker has an accident while working

California law mandates that all employers must carry workers’ compensation insurance for their employees so that if injured, they can receive adequate medical coverage and pay the bills while recovering. A contractor from Seaside, California who was working on a property located in Carmel, received a workers’ compensation fraud conviction for not obeying the law.

The Contractor State Licensing Board (CSLB) received a tip that the contractor, who was hired to build a wooden deck on the back of a residence in Carmel, was not licensed. The organization opened an investigation and visited the work site. It turns out that the tip was correct and the contractor admitted to not being licensed. (While he should get credit for being honest, he was deceptive by trying to operate his business without the proper license.)

The contractor also admitted to employing another worker to help him on the deck construction project, but didn’t have a workers’ compensation insurance policy to protect the worker. (He must have thought that the law applied to everyone except him. Or, he was most likely just being frugal.)

Because the 46-year-old Seaside man did not have a business license or a workers’ compensation insurance policy in his toolbox, he was convicted of workers’ compensation fraud. He was sentenced to three years of probation and a $1,000 fine for failing to have workers’ compensation insurance. If he violates the terms of his probation, he will have to serve one year behind bars in the county jail and pay additional fines.

What’s important to note is that if a worker is injured while working on your property, you can be held financially liable. (That should make you sit up and take notice.) Make sure you ask a few extra questions when looking for a contractor. Make sure they are licensed, bonded and carry workers’ compensation insurance for their employees. (That way you won’t be stuck with the bill in the unfortunate event there is an injury.)

Today’s “Fraud of the Day” is based on an article, “CA: Carmel Contractor Sentenced for Failing to Carry Workers’ Comp Insurance,” posted on workerscompensation.com on August 18, 2019.

Salinas, CA (WorkersCompensation.com) – Monterey County District Attorney Jeannine M. Pacioni announced today that Jorge Luis Calvo Padilla, a 46-year old Seaside resident, was sentenced on March 22, 2019 to 3 years’ probation and ordered to pay a $1,000 fine for failing to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Mr. Padilla faces up to 1-year in county jail and additional fines if he violates his probation.

On June 18, 2018, the Contractor State Licensing Board (“CSLB”) investigated a report of unlicensed construction at a property located at Camino Del Monte 4 NW of San Carlos in Carmel by the Seas. At the property, CSLB investigators observed 2 men constructing a wooden deck behind the residence. Mr. Padilla was identified as the contractor on the project and admitted that he was not a licensed contractor. In addition, Mr. Padilla admitted that he had hired a worker to help with the deck.

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Larry Benson, Senior Director of Strategic Alliances, LexisNexis Risk Solutions - Government

Larry Benson is responsible for developing strategic partnerships and solutions for the government vertical. His expertise focuses on how government programs are defrauded by criminal groups, and the approaches necessary to prevent them from succeeding.

Mr. Benson has 30 years of experience in sales and business development. Before joining LexisNexis® Risk Solutions, he spent 12 years founding and managing two software technology startups. During the 1990s he spent 10 years as a Regional Director helping to grow a New England-based technology company from 300 employees to 7,000. He started his career with Martin Marietta Aerospace working on laser guided weapons and day/night vision systems.

A sought-after speaker and accomplished writer, Mr. Benson is the principal author of “Fraud of the Day,” a website dedicated to educating government officials about how criminals are defrauding government programs. He has co-authored WTF? Where’s the Fraud? How to Unmask and Stop Identity Fraud’s Drain on Our Government, and Data Personified, How Fraud is Changing the Meaning of Identity.

Benson holds a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Albright College, and earned two graduate degrees – a Master of Business Administration from Florida Institute of Technology, and a Master of Science in Engineering from Lehigh University.