A Florida contractor was arrested this month for an alleged workers’ compensation fraud scheme totaling nearly $737,000, according to a statement from Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis.
Norma Lopez Cedillo, president of Nuvo Contractor, Inc., allegedly evaded paying nearly $737,000 in workers’ compensation insurance premiums over a more than six-month period. The company allegedly conducted more than $5.5 million in business but reported an estimated $103,000 in anticipated payroll on their workers’ compensation insurance policy.
An investigation by the Department of Financial Services’ Bureau of Workers Compensation Fraud revealed that Cedillo allegedly concealed payroll information to avoid paying higher workers’ compensation premiums. Based on financial records from two check cashing companies, it was discovered that Nuvo Contractor Inc. cashed nearly $4 million in payroll by numerous construction companies in the South Florida area. Cedillo reported payroll of only $22,311 and avoided paying more than $737,000 in workers’ compensation insurance premiums.
The scheme was discovered when their workers’ compensation insurance policy was issued and subsequently terminated roughly six months later for non-payment of premium.
Cedillo was booked into Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center (TGK) on Aug. 9, 2019, on charges of workers’ compensation premium fraud, organized scheme to defraud, and conspiracy to commit grand theft over $100,000. If convicted, she faces up to 30 years in prison. Individuals charged with a crime are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
“Workers’ compensation fraud puts employees at risk of being underinsured and drives up insurance rates statewide for honest, hard-working businesses. Last year alone, my fraud detectives made nearly 400 arrests for workers’ compensation fraud,” Patronis said.
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