Framing Company Heads Accused of Insurance Fraud

January 31, 2001

Three construction company owners from Arizona and a California attorney have been accused of insurance fraud and employment tax evasion by California insurance officials.

Jay Neal Wright, 48, his son, Jay Neal Wright II, 27, of Phoenix; Don Jay Wright, 80 of Meza, Ariz.; and 43-year-old Timothy Miller of Riverside, Calif., are accused of defrauding insurers of at least $2 million and causing some $6 million in losses to the state.

The suit, filed in an Alameda County Court, accuses Wright and his son told state tax authorities and insurers they had divested themselves of their workforce while at the head of Highland Framers of Northern California, a residential framing company with a multi-million dollar payroll that did most of its business in Alameda and Contra Costa counties throughout the 1990s.

The father/son duo allegedly told officials they were relying on outside subcontractors. But an investigation of the subcontractors found at least two shell companies, operated and directly controlled by the Wrights and Highland Framers. State insurance officials believe the allegedly phony subcontracting companies were created with the assistance of Miller, the attorney, and were made to appear unrelated to Highland Framers to avoid paying workers’ compensation insurance premiums and State employment taxes.

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