Miami Roofing Company Owners Arrested Over $1 Million Workers’ Comp Scam

February 22, 2018

Owners of a Miami roofing company have been accused of concealing nearly $1.2 million in payroll on their workers’ compensation policy renewal application in an alleged attempt to illegally lower their premium costs, according to Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis.

Jose Esmelin Martinez and Uzziel Isaias Jaramillo, owners of Esmelin Corporation aka as Esmelin Roofing Contractor (ERC), were arrested following an investigation with Patronis’ Division of Investigative & Forensic Services that determined they underreported their payroll by a significant amount. The investigation discovered Martinez and Jaramillo had reported an annual payroll estimate of $60,000 on their application for workers’ compensation coverage. Based on their estimated payroll, their premium was determined to be $14,051.

Investigators identified $288,263 in cashed payroll checks during ERC’s policy period at multiple money services businesses located within the South Florida area. After further investigation, ERC was found to have received at least $1,248,416 for their labor costs — exceeding the estimated annual payroll that was previously given to their insurance provider when applying for workers’ compensation coverage.

Had the actual amount of payroll been reported to their workers’ comp provider, the resulting premium rate would have been set at $278,209, a difference of $264,158.

Martinez was arrested Jan. 18, 2018 and Jaramillo was arrested Jan. 25, 2018. Both men were transported to Dade County Jail without incident. Both Martinez and Jaramillo have been charged with workers’ compensation fraud, grand theft and organized scheme to defraud.

This case will be prosecuted by the Office of State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle of the 11th Judicial Circuit State Attorney’s Office. If convicted, Martinez and Jaramillo could face up to 60 years in prison.

Source: Florida Department of Financial Services

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