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South Florida Business Owner Nabbed for Workers’ Compensation Violations

4/18/2016

Contact: Ashley Carr
(850) 413-2842
 
MIAMI, Fla. – In a continued effort to combat the various types of fraud seen in Florida the Department of Financial Services Division of Insurance Fraud (DIF) today announced the arrest of Roberto E. Hernandez. The Miami business owner allegedly lied to his insurer in order to avoid paying nearly $90,000 in workers’ compensation premiums.
 
DIF’s investigative efforts revealed that on or about September 23, 2015, Hernandez applied for and secured a workers’ compensation policy through Lions Insurance for his construction company Nuevitas Ground Service Corp.  Records showed the insurance policy only provided coverage for three employees, the amount of workers Hernandez stated were employed by Nuevitas Ground Service.
 
However, during the course of the investigation it was discovered that Hernandez actually employed approximately 20 to 25 laborers. Through the months of September 2015 to January 2016 he cashed in more than $840,000 worth of checks paid by a contractor to Nuevitas Ground Service Corp. solely for construction labor.
 
By providing false information regarding the number of employees and inaccurate payroll information for Nuevitas Ground Service, Hernandez was able to illegally obtain a minimal insurance policy for his workers. In doing so, Hernandez avoided having to pay at least $88,785 in workers compensation premium payments.
 
Hernandez was arrested April 13, 2016 and booked into the Miami-Dade County Jail with a bond of $25,000. He was charged with an organized scheme to defraud, grand theft, and workers’ compensation fraud.
 
This case will be prosecuted through the Office of State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle, of the 11th Judicial Circuit and if convicted, Hernandez faces up to 60 years in prison.
 
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Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, a statewide elected official, oversees the Department of Financial Services. CFO Atwater’s priorities include fighting financial fraud, abuse and waste in government, reducing government spending and regulatory burdens that chase away businesses, and providing transparency and accountability in spending. Follow the activities of the Department on Facebook (FLDFS) and Twitter (@FLDFS).