Fresno Trucking Company Owner Faces Charges for Workers’ Compensation Fraud (Yahoo)

Fresno Trucking Company Owner Faces Charges for Workers’ Compensation Fraud

Thursday, May 16th, 2024 Fraud Insurance Industry Litigation Workers' Compensation

An 84-year-old former owner of TKJ Trucking in Fresno, California, has been charged with under-reporting more than $2 million in payroll to avoid substantial workers’ compensation costs. According to the California Department of Insurance, the owner faces three felony charges related to approximately $500,000 in workers’ compensation insurance fraud.

From December 1, 2018, to December 1, 2021, the trucking company allegedly reported less than $1 million in payroll despite having over $3 million. This discrepancy came to light during an audit initiated after the suspicious death of a long-term employee in a company-owned big rig. Although the death was due to natural causes, the employee’s job designation was reportedly changed posthumously from a salesperson to a truck driver, significantly affecting the workers’ compensation premiums.

The attorney representing the former owner argued that the case hinges on technicalities in employee versus independent contractor classifications and maintained his client’s innocence, noting no prior criminal history. The arraignment has been postponed, and no plea has been entered. The next court appearance is scheduled for August 14.

This case underscores the significant regulatory scrutiny businesses face concerning accurate payroll reporting and the serious consequences of non-compliance. If found guilty, the owner could face severe penalties, highlighting the importance of transparent business practices in the trucking industry.

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External References & Further Reading

Mid-America Catastrophe ServicesHancock Claims Consultants LLCWeller Salvage

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