Four Pa. Employers Charged in Workers’ Comp Scam

August 26, 2005

Pennsylvania’s Department of Labor & Industry’s (L&I) Bureau of Workers’ Compensation compliance unit announced the prosecution of four employers for reportedly failing to maintain workers’ compensation coverage on employees.

Section 305 of the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act specifies that an employer’s failure to insure its workers’ comp liability is a criminal offense, and classifies each day’s violation as a separate offense – either as a third-degree misdemeanor, or if intentional, as a third-degree felony.

Judge Linda K.M. Ludgate sentenced Pheezk Inc., owned by Amad Mahmood in West Reading, in the Berks County Court of Common Pleas. Pheezk Inc. pleaded guilty to one third-degree misdemeanor for failing to insure its workers’ comp liability, and was ordered to pay a $2,500 fine and prosecution costs.

The bureau’s compliance unit reports that Pheezk Inc. is no longer in business.

Judge Ronald C. Nagle sentenced Edward Bertogli, owner of Penn Green Lawn Service in Landenberg, in the Chester County Court of Common Pleas. Bertogli pleaded guilty to one third-degree felony count for failing to insure the workers’ comp liability of his business. Bertogli was placed on probation for three years and was ordered to pay $2,500 and costs of prosecution. Judge Nagle also ordered Bertogli to pay restitution to the injured employee in the amount of $23,708.

Penn Green Lawn Service is currently in compliance with the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, according to bureau records.

Magisterial District Judge Ola E. Stackhouse sentenced Patti LaBonte, owner of Kameeo’s LLC in Benton, Columbia County. LaBonte pleaded guilty to one third-degree misdemeanor count and was fined $200. District Judge Stackhouse ordered LaBonte to pay costs of prosecution and reimburse the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation $91 for finding unemployment compensation documents.

Kameeo’s LLC is currently in compliance with the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, according to bureau records.

Judge Charles H. Saylor sentenced Ronald Savitski, owner of Burnrite Coal Company in Atlas, in the Northumberland County Court of Common Pleas. Savitski pleaded no contest to five third-degree misdemeanors for failing to insure the workers’ comp liability of his business.

Savitski was placed on probation for three years, ordered to pay the costs of prosecution, a supervision fee of $40 a month and a $1,250 fine. Savitski was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $18,603 to Geisinger Clinic, $10,838 to Geisinger Health Plan and to reimburse the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation $202 for finding unemployment compensation documents. Judge Saylor also ordered Savitski to have no contact with the injured employee.

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