Simi Valley roof company owner arraigned in $4 million workers’ comp fraud scheme
News: 2020 Press Release
VENTURA, Calif. — Judy Hein, 71, of Oxnard, was arraigned on five felony counts of insurance fraud after allegedly underreporting payroll for her Simi Valley roofing business by over $4 million, resulting in more than a $2 million loss to the State Compensation Insurance Fund (State Fund).
On December 19, 2018, the Department of Insurance received a referral from State Fund alleging that Hein's business, Cal Roofing, Inc., was underreporting payroll in order to receive a reduced rate for its workers' compensation insurance.
An investigation discovered internet searches that indicated the number of roofing projects and business revenue was not in line with Cal Roofing's stated number of employees or estimated annual premium. When wage information from the Employment Development Department (EDD) for Cal Roofing was compared to wage information in corresponding State Fund policy audits large discrepancies were revealed.
"Illegally underreporting payroll to your insurance company to save on business expenses is a crime,” said Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara. "The fraudulent actions of this business owner led to artificially inflated costs to insurance companies, businesses and consumers. Insurance fraud is not a victimless crime. We all pay a cost for these illegal actions.”
The investigation determined Hein was responsible for filing the fraudulent payroll reports with State Fund. She also signed EDD documents, which revealed the underreported payroll to State Fund, which she correctly reported to EDD.
The audit findings and payroll reports filed with State Fund show a payroll of $831,788 from 2013 through 2018. The payroll reports filed with EDD and bank records show a payroll of $4,948,114 for the same policy periods. Hein underreported Cal Roofing's payroll by $4,116,326 in order to obtain workers' compensation insurance at a reduced rate. The suspected fraud resulted in an estimated loss of $2,171,330 to State Fund in the form of unpaid insurance premiums.
Hein was arraigned on November 17, 2020, at the Ventura Superior Court. This case is being prosecuted by the Ventura County District Attorney's Office.
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The California Department of Insurance, established in 1868, is the largest consumer protection agency in California. Insurers collect $371 billion in premiums annually in California. Since 2011 the California Department of Insurance received more than 1,000,000 calls from consumers and helped recover over $469 million in claims and premiums. Please visit the Department of Insurance website at www.insurance.ca.gov. Non-media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800-927-4357. Teletypewriter (TTY), please dial 800-482-4833.