Volume 1 Number 26
June 28, 2004










TEXT VERSION


CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTOR FALSIFIED WORKERS’ COMPENSATION  COVERAGE, INVESTIGATORS SAY                          

The owner of an Indian Harbor construction company has been charged with workers’ compensation fraud after jeopardizing the coverage of at least one employee, according to investigators with the Department of Financial Services’ Division of Insurance Fraud.

“Florida workers deserve to be protected in case they are injured on the job,” said Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher, who oversees the Department of Financial Services.  “An employee without coverage who is seriously injured or disabled stands to lose not only his livelihood but also the benefits he needs for medical bills and recovery.”

Investigators say Carl T. Nicks, 42, of 1891 State Road AIA #201 in Indian Harbor, submitted falsified workers’ compensation insurance certificates to at least two general contractors in order to secure a contract for services.  On at least one job site, an employee of Nicks was injured and did not receive benefits until the general contractor’s workers’ compensation carrier paid more than $30,000 in medical payments and attorney’s fees.

Nicks, owner of A1A Restoration and Construction, Inc., was charged with four counts of workers’ compensation fraud.  He was booked into the Brevard County Jail, with bond set at $4,000.  If convicted on all charges, Nicks faces up to 20 years in prison.

Nicks was previously arrested on similar charges in December 2003.  This case is currently pending trial.

Under Florida law, employers in construction-related industries, who have one or more employees, must maintain workers’ compensation coverage for their employees. 

The Department of Financial Services, Division of Insurance Fraud, investigates various forms of fraud in insurance, including health, life, auto, property and workers’ compensation insurance.  Anyone with information about this case or another possible fraud scheme should 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.