San Diego County Superior Court Judge Fred McGuire has ordered a San Diego construction firm owner to pay the California State Compensation Insurance Fund $113,327 in restitution for defrauding the workers’ compensation insurance carrier; and, $60,000 to the State Economic Development Department (EDD) for unemployment tax evasion. Thomas Behrendt, 50, of San Diego, was also sentenced to three years formal probation as part of his June 4 sentence on his felony conviction for workers’ compensation insurance fraud.
State Fund, which had insured Behrendt’s firm Sunset Structures Inc. from 2003 to 2006, suspected fraud during a review of an injured worker’s claim. Behrendt originally denied that the injured worker was indeed a company employee.
Behrendt failed to pay proper workers’ compensation insurance premiums for a period of three years, and unemployment taxes, and by extension gained an illegal competitive advantage.
State Fund assisted the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office, including prosecutor Deputy District Attorney Ernie Marugg, in its investigation which included a detailed audit of Behrendt’s workers’ compensation records.
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