Volume 1 Number 24
June 14, 2004











TEXT-ONLY VERSION


HOMESTEAD COMPANY OWNER MUST PAY RESTITUTION

The owner of a South Florida drywall and plastering company has been ordered to pay $110,000 in restitution after entering a no contest plea to two counts of workers’ compensation insurance fraud.

Kraig Wayne Bryan, 33, owner of B&D Drywall, Inc., was arrested in May 2003 following an investigation by the Department of Financial Services, Division of Insurance Fraud.  State fraud investigators determined that Bryan underreported his payroll by at least $800,000 to avoid $140,000 in workers’ compensation premiums. 

Bryan entered his plea Friday in Palm Beach Circuit Court.  Judge Lucy Brown handed down the sentence which, in addition to the restitution to two insurance carriers, included an order to serve five years of probation and pay more than $6,000 in investigative and court costs.  The Office of Statewide Prosecution handled the prosecution.

“Employers who evade premiums risk leaving workers without a safety net to pay for potential work-related injuries,” said Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher, who also oversees the Department of Financial Services.  “Workers’ compensation fraud also drives up costs for businesses that follow the law.”

Bryan under-reported his payroll to AmComp Assurance Corporation and Bridgefield Casualty Insurance Company on monthly self-audits that he signed and forwarded to the companies between June 1999 and December 2003.  Bryan operated the business from his home at 1866 NW 8th Terrace in Homestead.

The Department of Financial Services, Division of Insurance Fraud, investigates fraud in all types of insurance, including health, life, auto, property and workers’ compensation.  To report information about a possible insurance fraud scheme, call the department’s fraud hotline at 1-800-378-0445.  A reward of up to $25,000 may be offered for information leading to a conviction.