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Los Angeles business owner arraigned in $1 million workers’ compensation fraud scheme

News: 2021 Press Release

For Release: April 14, 2021
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
Email Inquiries: cdipress@insurance.ca.gov
Los Angeles business owner arraigned in $1 million workers’ compensation fraud scheme

LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Marion Piggee, Jr., 68, of Los Angeles, was arraigned on seven counts of insurance fraud after an investigation by the California Department of Insurance revealed he was allegedly underreporting employee payroll by nearly $6 million in order to fraudulently reduce his business’s workers’ compensation insurance premium by over $1 million.

On November 28, 2016, the State Compensation Insurance Fund (SCIF) filed a suspected fraudulent claim with the Department of Insurance alleging potential insurance fraud. SCIF reported that Piggee, as owner of Center for Behavioral Change, an adult residential care facility, allegedly underreported employee payroll in order to reduce the proper rate of insurance premiums owed to SCIF.

A routine audit for the policy period of November 1, 2014, to November 1, 2015, found that Center for Behavioral Change reported one employee and payroll wages of $8,035. However, the audit revealed wages to be $881,593 for the same policy year. It also showed Piggee’s business had obtained workers’ compensation insurance for one facility, but failed to disclose they had also acquired eight other facilities.

The investigation found that Piggee had allegedly been underreporting company payroll from November 2009 through May 2016. The investigation also revealed Center for Behavioral Change had 60 employees, despite their reporting of only one employee. The business underreported payroll by $5,982,410, which resulted in a premium loss to SCIF of $1,017,937.

Piggee was arraigned at the Los Angeles Superior Court on April 6, 2021. This case is being prosecuted by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

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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.

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