NY Contractors Warned On Certificate Fraud After Arrest

                               New York, NY (CompNewsNetwork) - The New York State Insurance Fund today warned general contractors about accepting non-validated proof of insurance coverage following the arrest of a Suffolk County man charged with using a phony certificate of workers' compensation insurance as a sub-contractor.

“Unfortunately, fraudulent workers' compensation certificates are an all-too-common occurrence in the construction industry,” NYSIF Chief Deputy Executive Director Francine James said. “Those getting ripped-off are general contractors who must foot the bill for any unpaid insurance premium on their work sites, and unsuspecting homeowners, who are liable for uninsured workers.”

Ms. James reminded certificate holders that NYSIF certificates can be authenticated online using NYSIF eCERTS®, a system that allows contractors and homeowners to protect themselves against liability by validating the NYSIF certificate number at nysif.com any time.

“NYSIF's system easily allows any certificate holder to fight this type of workers' compensation fraud,” she said. “Anyone with Internet access can verify a NYSIF certificate of insurance and report fraud immediately and anonymously through our web site.”

Detectives from Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota's Office arrested James Daleo, 43, of Medford, NY, on July 15, charging him with fraudulent practices in violation of the Workers' Compensation Law, a felony.
Investigators said Mr. Daleo allegedly used a fraudulent certificate of insurance in 2008, doing business as Daleo Construction, as a sub-contractor hired by a NYSIF-insured general contractor. As a result, the general contractor was billed for an additional $5,246 in unpaid premium.

Mr. Daleo's arrest followed an investigation by NYSIF's Division of Confidential Investigations and the New York State Insurance Department Frauds Bureau.

Criminal complaints and indictments are accusations only. Defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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