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Brevard County Company Owner Charged with Fraud

2/12/2003

CONTACT: Tami Torres
(850) 413-2842

PALM BAY – A Brevard County construction company owner has been charged with workers' compensation insurance fraud after investigators with the Department of Financial Services made an unannounced visit to one of his construction sites.

James Lenier Bland Sr., 43, of James Bland Concrete of Brevard, Inc., was arrested Tuesday by investigators with the department's Division of Insurance Fraud at a construction site in the Citrus Springs development in unincorporated Indian River County. The investigator alleged Bland had no workers' compensation coverage on seven employees hired to do concrete slab and foundation work.

Last week, an Orlando roofing company owner was arrested on a charge of organized fraud for failing to provide coverage for 85 employees, and a Naples drywall contractor was fined more than $360,000 for failing to provide coverage for six workers. If convicted, Bland faces up to five years in prison.

Bland said that his company had completed five concrete slab foundations in the Citrus Springs development during the past two months. Bland's employees interviewed on Tuesday indicated that they were or were to be paid in cash upon completion of each job.

Bland was booked into the Indian River County Jail.

The Department of Financial Services, Division of Insurance Fraud, investigates fraud in all types of insurance, including health, life, auto, property and workers' compensation. Anyone with information about this case or other possible insurance fraud should call the department's Fraud Hotline at 1-800-378-0445. A reward of up to $25,000 is offered for information leading to a conviction.