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Gallagher Announces Arrest of Palm Beach Man for Insurance Fraud

12/8/2006

CONTACT:  Nina Banister or Jeff Takacs
                 (850) 413-2842          

WEST PALM BEACH–Tom Gallagher, Florida's chief financial officer, announced the arrest today of the owner and operator of Ron Mor Drywall, Inc. on a charge of workers' compensation premium fraud for allegedly underreporting payroll to his workers' compensation carrier to avoid more than $67,000 in premiums.
 
Ronald Salvatore Mauro, 64, of South Palm Beach, was arrested this morning following an investigation by the Department of Financial Services, Division of Insurance Fraud.  Mauro was booked into the Palm Beach County Jail and faces up to 15 years in prison, in addition to fines and restitution, if convicted.
 
"Those who avoid paying appropriate premiums create an uneven playing field for other employers and put their employees at risk," said Gallagher, who oversees the department.  "We are determined to ensure that employers comply with the law and that appropriate action is taken against those who do not."
 
Legislative reforms and aggressive investigative and compliance efforts have saved employers more than $1 billion in the past three years, as rates have dropped more than 40 percent since 2003.
 
The investigation, based on information provided by Zurich North America Insurance, the company's general liability carrier, and Comprehensive Employers Insurance, (First Commercial Insurance), the company's workers' compensation carrier, that Ron Mor Drywall failed to report more than $374,000 in payroll to Comprehensive Employers Insurance during the 2002 policy period.  Investigators said had Mauro correctly reported his payroll, the company would have been assessed $67,501 as premium owed for workers compensation coverage for the 2002 audit period.
 
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 is asked to call the department's Fraud Busters Hotline at 1-800-378-0445.