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CA Department of Insurance

Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones announces sentencing of Farm Labor Contractor for Workers Compensation Premium Fraud

Dave Althausen
July 24, 2012 3:00 PM

In January 2010 the California Department of Insurance (CDI) Fraud Division began an investigation into allegations that Richard Lopez Villalpondo, sole owner of R.L. Villalpondo, F.L.C., a farm labor contracting business was committing Workers' Compensation Insurance Premium Fraud. Villalpondo is a licensed farm labor contractor operating out of Bakersfield, California providing seasonal labor in cotton, orchards, truck farms and growers.

Audits of Villalpondo payroll for the policy year April 1, 2007 to April 1, 2008 uncovered that Villalpondo had reported approximately $300,000 less in payroll to his insurance carrier, the Internal Revenue Service and the Employment Development Department, resulting in an unpaid premium of $22,228. Additionally, an audit of Villalpondo's payroll for the policy year April 1, 2008 to April 1, 2009 found that the company had again underreported its payroll. Detectives found that Villalpondo had underreported $1,606,967 in payroll to his insurance carrier, resulting in an unpaid premium of $142,265.76. Detectives also learned, during the investigation, that Villalpondo had changed the workers' compensation insurance company in April 2009 to another carrier. The policy period was from April 2009 to April 2010 and the new insurance carrier had canceled the policy once due to an unpaid premium. A review of the payroll records confirmed that Villalpondo underreported $260,000 in payroll.

On April 19, 2012 Villalpondo was sentenced to serve a term of two years in the Kern County Jail and he was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $116,894.88 to both insurance carriers for related losses. He was also ordered to pay fees and fines in amount of $355.



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