California Trucker Death Led to Workers’ Comp Investigation That Found $2M in Underreported Payroll

May 17, 2024

An investigation began after an employee was found dead in a company owned semi-truck led to the arraignment of a California man on three felony counts of workers’ compensation fraud.

Heigo Kubar, 84, of Fresno, was arraigned this week on three felony counts of workers’ comp fraud after a Central Valley Workers’ Compensation Fraud Task Force investigation reportedly discovered Kubar allegedly underreported over $2 million in payroll to save on workers’ comp for his trucking company.

Kubar is the former owner of TKJ Trucking. Kubar’s insurer became suspicious and began an investigation following an incident in which a TKJ Trucking employee was found dead in company owned semi-truck. The insurer reportedly found that leading up to the death of the employee, Kubar had classified the employee as a company salesperson, not a truck driver. Less than a month after the death, TKJ Trucking amended the employee’s job classification to truck driver.

An investigation led by the Fresno County District Attorney’s Office found the dead employee was working for TKJ Trucking as a truck driver for roughly 15 years. At the time of death, the cost to insure a sales person was roughly $1 for every $100 in payroll, but the cost to insure a truck driver was roughly $20 for every $100 in payroll.

An audit by the California Department of Insurance was as part of the task force investigation. It showed that between Dec. 1, 2018 to Dec. 1, 2021, TKJ Trucking had workers’ comp coverage and reported $875,591 in employee payroll. However, the company actually had a reported $3,233,899 in payroll, an underreporting of $2.3 million, resulting in insurance premiums of $480,093 owed to the insurer.

The case is being prosecuted by the Fresno County District Attorney’s Office. Kubar is scheduled to appear in court next on Aug. 14.

Topics California Workers' Compensation Trucking

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