This is interesting. This case apparently involves several employees who were given jail sentences for their involvement, and many of them are apparently Latino Witnesses:
News: 2006 Press Release
For Release: October 18, 2006 Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566 Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi Announces Arrests of Four Suspects in Alleged $39 Million Workers' Compensation Premium Fraud Case Investigation exposed what is likely the largest amount of fraud committed against an insurance company in California; one suspect still at large
LOS ANGELES ––Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi today announced the arrests of four suspects who allegedly committed more than $39,280,000 worth of workers’ compensation premium fraud against three insurance companies.
After a nearly four-year investigation conducted by the Department of Insurance’s (CDI) Fraud Division, investigators served arrest warrants on Tuesday against Luis Perez, 37, of Dove Canyon; Paul Rodas, 40, of Costa Mesa; Elizabeth Waldo (aka: Elizabeth Middleton), 58, and Oscar Hidalgo, 31, both of Yorba Linda. An arrest warrant is still outstanding for Javier Chavolla, 36, also of Yorba Linda. All of the suspects were either owners or principal employees of temporary employment agencies known as Checkmate Staffing Inc.; Checkmate Staffing West Inc.; Checkmate Staffing West Inc.; Checkmate Transport Inc; Tower Temps, Inc.; Staffaide Inc.; RPM Staff Leasing; and Tower Staffing Inc.
“This amount of alleged fraud, and fraud committed in other cases, is not only harmful to businesses and employees, but to our economy,” said Commissioner Garamendi. “We will continue our work to ensure that fraud does not add debilitating costs to our fragile workers’ compensation system.”
Perez and Rodas were arrested at their current place of employment in Foothill Ranch. Waldo was arrested at her residence by the Chino Hills Police Department, and Hidalgo was arrested at his place of employment in Orange.
Each of the four suspects has been charged with one count of conspiracy to commit workers’ compensation insurance fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit denial of workers’ compensation insurance benefits. If convicted, they could face up to 10 years in prison. Perez was booked into Orange County jail with bail set at $10 million. Waldo was booked into West Valley Detention Center Jail on $500,000 bail. Hidalgo was booked into Orange County jail on $500,000 bail, and Rodas was booked into Orange County jail on $250,000 bail.
The suspects were all owners or employees who are alleged to have fraudulently underreported and/or misclassified employees to several insurance companies, including State Compensation Insurance Fund, Zurich American Insurance Company, and Redland Insurance Company. The suspects’ companies were neither licensed insurers nor were they bonded and able to act as a third party administrator.
The San Bernardino County District Attorney’s office is prosecuting this case, and additional arrests are expected.
If anyone has information regarding Chavolla or other aspects of this case, please contact the CDI Fraud Division’s regional office in Rancho Cucamonga at (909) 919-2200, or your local law enforcement agency.