Recently, the head of a Trenton-based construction company pleaded guilty to stealing more than $450,000 in worker’s compensation-related money. The man was charged with two counts of second degree theft by deception. Specifically, he was charged with sending false information to the worker’s compensation insurance carrier for his company.

According to local prosecutors, the 49-year-old man has admitted feeding fraudulent information to the insurance carrier from 2007 until 2010. As a result, he obtained reduced insurance premiums to which his company was not entitled. The man obtained $315,680 illegally, and also pleaded guilty to stealing $135,642 by failing to file tax returns for his two construction companies. The state is seeking an 8-year prison sentence for the man, as well as recovery of more than $400,000 in restitution.

Worker’s compensation is essential for any employee who works in a dangerous occupation. In the state of New Jersey, employers are required to provide worker’s compensation to all employees to cover medical bills for injured workers. There may also be coverage for lost wages due to injury. It is for this reason that the insurance fraud in this case is such a serious matter. Prosecutors say the crime not only left workers exposed but also cost consumers, because fraud prompts insurance companies to increase the cost of premiums.

Workplace accidents can occur in any job, but they are particularly common in construction. They occur without any warning and can be aggravated by the negligence of an employer.

Anyone involved in a workplace accident is entitled to worker’s compensation protection. The injured worker may file a claim in addition to filing a personal injury claim for negligence if the injury is caused by the employer’s recklessness or negligence. Anyone hurt in a workplace accident is entitled to just and fair compensation.

Source: Insurance & Financial Advisor, “Former NJ Construction Manager pleads guilty to workers comp fraud,” Kelley L. Allen, Dec. 3, 2012.