32 N.Y. Businessowners Charged with Workers’ Comp Fraud

June 25, 2007

The owners of 32 businesses have been accused of lying about their employees to avoid paying into the workers’ compensation fund, state regulators said.

The Westchester businesses, mostly small restaurants and delis, claimed to have no employees but actually had at least 84, the state Workers’ Compensation Board said. Businesses with employees are required to secure insurance to cover workers injured on the job.

“When an employer refuses to protect its injured employees by securing workers’ compensation insurance, the state’s honest employers must pick up the tab,” board chair Donna Ferrara said.

Each business owner was charged with fraud, offering a false instrument and failing to secure workers’ benefits.

The board fined the businesses $550,000, with the biggest penalty, nearly $63,000, levied against Roberto’s Pizza & Pasta in New Rochelle.

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