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New Jersey roofer charged with workers' compensation fraud

When we hear about workers' compensation fraud, we typically think of the occasional worker who "fakes" an injury and obtains workers' compensation benefits or has recovered from his or her injuries but pretends to still be injured, in order to continue receiving benefits.

There are other types of workers' compensation fraud, however, such as when an employer fails to accurately report the number of workers he or she employs, or misrepresents the type of work they do, to obtain a lower insurance premium.

This second situation appears to be what occurred in the case of a New Jersey man who has been charged with insurance fraud in connection with the theft of $265,000. The New Jersey Attorney General's office also charged him with theft by deception and other charges.

The man was from Spring Lake, and the AG's office alleged he submitted "false and misleading information" to his insurance provider.

While employee workers' compensation fraud may be better known, and makes better television when reporters confront an individual who is receiving benefits for a back injury in a gym is found lifting weights, employers too, can defraud insurance companies and workers alike.

Allegations here are that for seven years he misrepresented his company as not being a roofing company, not employing roofers and that the company did not install or repair roofs.

Given that falls are one of the leading causes of worker injuries, and roofers tend to work in elevated locations, he probably received much lower rates for his workers' compensation insurance than if his carrier had know the true nature of his business.

If you work for a company and suspect that something is unusual concerning the workers' compensation insurance, contact the New Jersey Attorney General's office or the Division of Workers' Compensation. 

Source: Insurance Journal, "New Jersey Roofer Indicted for Alleged Workers’ Compensation Fraud," Associate Press, December 22, 2013

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