Escondido landscapers arraigned in workers’ compensation premium fraud scheme
News: 2023 Press Release
SAN DIEGO, Calif. — Five defendants were arraigned today on multiple felony counts of insurance fraud after a California Department of Insurance investigation found the landscaping company the defendants owned and/or supervised allegedly underreported employees’ wages to their insurance company in order to unlawfully save on workers’ compensation insurance premiums.
Three defendants include Antonio Martinez Resendiz, 36, of Murrieta, Ismael Martinez Resendiz, 34, of Fallbrook, and Jorge Martinez Resendiz, 32, of Temecula, owners of Green View Landscape & Tree Service Inc. (GVLTS) in Escondido. The two additional defendants are Ariana Martinez, 34, of Murrieta, and Silvia Reyna Martinez, 34, of Temecula, supervisors within the company.
Employers are required to maintain workers’ compensation insurance to cover their employees in the event of an on-the-job injury. To ensure proper coverage, employers are required to accurately report their employees’ job classifications and the amount of payroll expended. One of the common ways in which employers avoid paying insurance premiums is to underreport employee payroll by providing false payroll reports to their insurance company.
Businesses that fraudulently lower their premiums benefit from an unfair market advantage, giving them the ability to charge less in labor costs, and thereby underbid businesses who pay the appropriate premiums.
The San Diego County District Attorney’s Office is prosecuting this case.
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.