CA Construction Company Operators Charged with Fraud, Labor Theft
Los Angeles, CA (WorkersCompensation.com) - A brother and sister who run a construction company in Paramount have been charged with fraud that allegedly resulted in at least $6 million in losses to the State Compensation Insurance Fund and with underpaying employees, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office announced today.
Enrique Vera (dob 2/14/70) of Tarzana, who owns Ultimate, Inc., faces four felony counts of workers' compensation fraud and three felony counts of grand theft of labor. Gloria Vera (dob 11/16/60), who is the company's office manager, is charged with five counts of workers' compensation fraud, three counts of insurance fraud and three counts of grand theft of labor, all felonies.
The charges include an allegation of fraud and embezzlement that resulted in a loss of more than $500,000 to the SCIF.
Case BA472360 was filed for arrest warrant on Oct. 24. Enrique Vera is scheduled to be arraigned this afternoon in Department 30 of the Foltz Criminal Justice Center. Gloria Vera will be arraigned at a later time.
According to Deputy District Attorney Christopher Hartman of the Healthcare Fraud Division, the siblings allegedly submitted altered payroll records to the SCIF in order to pay a reduced premium on the construction company's workers' compensation insurance. They are accused of making false and fraudulent statements with the intent to discourage injured workers from claiming workers' compensation benefits or pursuing claims.
Gloria Vera also allegedly failed to disclose and concealed employees' on-the-job injuries that entitled them to workers' compensation. Furthermore, the siblings allegedly underpaid employees the prevailing wage that the company was required to as a contractor for a student housing renovation project at UCLA, the prosecutor said.
The crimes allegedly occurred from Jan. 1, 2012, through March 31, 2017.
Gloria Vera faces a possible maximum penalty of 19 years in state prison if convicted as charged. Enrique Vera faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.
The prosecutor is requesting bail be set at $505,000 for Gloria Vera and $430,000 for Enrique Vera.
The case remains under investigation by the District Attorney's Office's Bureau of Investigation.
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