Janitorial company owner arraigned in $2.5 million insurance fraud case
News: 2020 Press Release
On March 16, 2021, Almirante Perez, 45, of Highland, pleaded guilty to one felony count of insurance fraud and one felony count of white collar enhancement. On March 9, 2022, Perez was sentenced to two years formal probation and ordered to pay over $2.3 million in restitution to the Employment Development Department and the victim insurance companies.
SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — Almirante Perez, 43, of Highland, was arraigned on multiple felony counts of insurance fraud and tax evasion after allegedly underreporting employees and wages in an attempt to reduce his businesses’ insurance premiums and payroll taxes by over $2.5 million.
Perez was the owner of Capital Janitorial Services, Cal Best Service Group Inc., Southern Pacific Janitorial Group and United Pacific Contractors Inc., from March 2013 to November 2018.
An investigation by the Department of Insurance revealed Perez failed to report employees and wages to his workers' compensation insurance carrier and to the Employment Development Department (EDD). The investigation discovered $1,982,597 in underreported premium fraud and $609,430 in payroll taxes owed to the EDD.
"Legitimate businesses and California consumers pay the price when business owners cheat the system by illegally underreporting employees and wages," said Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara. "We all pay for this type of fraud through higher premiums and costs of services. My Department is committed to investigating fraud to protect consumers and businesses."
Perez was arraigned on October 22, 2020, at San Bernardino County Superior Court and pleaded not guilty to all charges. The San Bernardino County District Attorney's Office is prosecuting this case.
- Additional information from the San Bernardino County District Attorney's Office on this case, including the charging document, is available here.
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Led by Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara, the California Department of Insurance is the consumer protection agency for the nation's largest insurance marketplace and safeguards all of the state’s consumers by fairly regulating the insurance industry. Under the Commissioner’s direction, the Department uses its authority to protect Californians from insurance rates that are excessive, inadequate, or unfairly discriminatory, oversee insurer solvency to pay claims, set standards for agents and broker licensing, perform market conduct reviews of insurance companies, resolve consumer complaints, and investigate and prosecute insurance fraud. Consumers are urged to call 1-800-927-4357 with any questions or contact us at www.insurance.ca.gov via webform or online chat. Non-media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800-927-4357. Teletypewriter (TTY), please dial 800-482-4833.