Volume 5 Number 27
July 4, 2008

CFO SINK: PENSACOLA MAN FACING 30 YEARS IN PRISON FOR WORKERS’ COMPENSATION FRAUD

Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink announced the arrest of Melvin Toler, 51, of Toler Concrete, Inc. on June 23 for operating without required workers' compensation coverage.

An investigation on Toler uncovered that he had knowingly avoided his obligation to pay workers’ compensation coverage on employees in his masonry business.

Toler was arrested Monday on second degree felony charges of working without workers’ compensation coverage and knowing violation of a stop-work order. He is currently being held in the Escambia County jail.

If convicted, Toler could face a possible 30 years in prison, $20,000 dollars in fines and restitution of more than $89,000 for the pending second-degree felony charges.

In 2007-2008, the bureau’s enforcement and investigative efforts resulted in the issuance of more than 2,500 stop-work orders to employers failing to secure workers’ compensation insurance coverage. The bureau’s efforts caused more than 6,000 new employees to be covered under the workers’ compensation law. As a result $7 million was added to the premium base that previously had been evaded due to non-compliance.

The cost of insurance fraud is estimated at as much as $1,400 a year in premiums for the average Florida family. The DIF investigates various forms of fraud in insurance, including health, life, auto, property and workers' compensation insurance. Depending on the estimated loss amount, the department will pay up to $25,000 for information directly leading to an arrest and conviction. Anyone with information about this or any other suspected insurance fraud is asked to call the department's Fraud Fighters Hotline at 1-800-378-0445 or log on to www.MyFloridaCFO.com/fraud.  Complaints can be tracked online.