The owner of a Florida construction business has been arrested for allegedly concealing payroll information to avoid paying more than $718,000 in workers’ compensation premiums, according to a statement from the Florida Department of Financial Services (DFS).
An investigation by the Division of Investigative & Forensic Services (DIFS), Bureau of Workers Compensation Fraud, revealed that the owner of Damart Builders Corp., Damart Burnett, cashed millions of dollars in labor instead of the $223,600 he had originally reported when obtaining the policy with NorGuard Insurance Co.
DFS said had the payroll been properly reported, Damart Builders Corp. would have been charged more than $745,800 in workers’ compensation premium. To date, NorGuard Insurance has only collected roughly $27,700 in premiums.
Damart Builders Corp. effectively avoided more than $718,000 in workers’ compensation premiums based on the owners’ alleged fraudulent actions.
Burnett was arrested on May 18, 2021 and booked into the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center in Miami-Dade County. He faces charges of workers’ compensation premium fraud, organized scheme to defraud and conspiracy grand theft. If convicted, he faces up to 25 years in prison. Individuals charged with a crime are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
“Businesses must protect their employees and that means carrying the correct amount of workers’ compensation coverage,” CFO Jimmy Patronis said. “I thank the dedication of my fraud detectives for conducting the investigation and working to ensure this alleged criminal is held responsible.”
Source: Florida Department of Financial Services
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