CA Landscaper Admits Fraudulent Use of a Contractor's License and Failing to Carry Workers' Comp Insurance


Carmel, CA ( - Monterey County District Attorney Dean D. Flippo announced today that on October 9, 2012, Secundino Munoz, age 52 of Carmel, pled to one felony count of fraudulent use of contractor's license and one misdemeanor count of failing to secure workers' compensation insurance. Munoz also pled to a second misdemeanor count of contracting without a license. Munoz was doing business as Munoz Landscaping. He will be sentenced by Judge Adrienne Grover on November 27, 2012.

On July 9, 2012, Contractors State Licensing Board [CSLB] Investigator David Leary responded to a location in Carmel where Munoz and his three employees were trimming trees. During the investigation, Investigator Leary found there was no workers' compensation insurance in place for the employees and Munoz was using a fraudulent CSLB license. When contacted by the investigator, the homeowner stated that Munoz had told her that he was licensed and insured and that his prices were higher due to all the safety equipment needed for the job. Investigator Leary arrested Munoz on August 3, 2012.

Fraudulent use of a contractor's license has a penalty of sixteen months, two or three years in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Contracting without a license has a penalty of up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $5,000.

All employers are required to secure workers' compensation insurance for their employees so that there is an assurance of adequate medical coverage and other benefits for employees for any work-related injuries that may occur. Failure to secure workers' compensation insurance has a penalty of up to one year in jail and up to double the amount of the premium owed as a fine payable to the California State Treasury for the Uninsured Employers Fund.

Homeowners who contract with uninsured businesses to perform work on their residential properties risk being held personally liable for medical expenses if any employee is injured on the job.

The Workers' Compensation Unit of the District Attorney's Office investigates and prosecutes cases involving applicant fraud, employer fraud, premium fraud, provider fraud and employers who do not carry workers' compensation insurance.

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