San Mateo, Calif. Contractor Arrested for Premium Fraud

December 16, 2002

On Dec. 12, 2002, fraud investigators with the California Department of Insurance, Criminal Investigations Branch’s Fraud Division and the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office arrested Thomas Turner, 57, of Fremont, Calif.

The San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office and the California Department of Insurance Fraud Division conducted a joint investigation into allegations that Turner had failed to report his payroll to his workers’ compensation insurance carrier, State Compensation Insurance Fund (SCIF).

During the investigation, it was discovered that from March 1999 to Jan. 2000, Turner was the sole owner of the San Mateo County Roofing Services, and licensed as a roofing contractor. During this period, Turner contracted with numerous homeowners to provide roofing labor and materials. The sum of the contracts totaled at least $268,722. Turner hired employees to perform the roofing work and paid the employees in cash as well as company checks. He allegedly issued payroll checks under the names of his roofing crew supervisors, who then allegedly cashed the checks in order to make cash payments to all crewmembers. However, Turner allegedly reported no payroll on his quarterly reports to SCIF. SCIF auditor determined that Turner owed between $34,279 and $80,874 in premiums for his failure to report his payroll.

The San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office filed a criminal complaint charging Turner with three felony counts of premium fraud and three counts of grand theft. Bail was set at $200,000. The case is being prosecuted by the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office.

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