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Articles Posted in Money

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taxi-2118183_1920-300x185Two owners of transport and taxi companies in northern New York state have pleaded guilty to various fraud charges, including workers’ compensation and Medicaid fraud. These pleas are the latest developments in a two-year investigation into fraud led by the New York State Police in the Capital and Adirondack regions of the state.

Arshad Nazir, age 54, of Plattsburg is the owner of Capital Medallion, which does business under the name Avalanche Taxi. Nazir pleaded guilty to the federal felonies of Conspiracy to Defraud the United States and to Pay Healthcare Kickbacks and Conspiracy to Commit Healthcare Fraud. As part of his plea agreement, at a later date, Nazir will also plead guilty to charges leveled by the state—Failure to Secure Workers’ Compensation and Grand Larceny in the Second Degree. Nazir will be sentenced on June 18. He faces a fine of up to $250,000 and ten years in prison.
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michigan-1191024_1920-300x200Yesterday, the Michigan Senate passed a bill which would require a criminal conviction before law enforcement can permanently take an individual’s assets using civil asset forfeiture.

This is the latest attempt by the legislature to reform civil asset forfeiture laws in the state. Last year, a similar bill passed the House but was never voted on in the Senate. Another bill introduced last year was intended to ensure police officers had adequate training when it came to seizing property. A third bill would have put local forfeiture processes under the domain of state law, making asset forfeiture consistent across the state.
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jacksonville-77804_1920-300x179A Jacksonville, Florida brother and sister have been sentenced for their role in a scheme to illegally employ undocumented immigrants in construction work. Their scheme involved avoiding millions of dollars in workers’ compensation insurance and payroll tax.

Fanny Melina Zelaya-Mendez, age 39, and Roger Omar Zelaya-Mendez, age 34, ran various shell companies which provided workers to contractors and subcontractors. They used these companies to hire and pay hundreds of undocumented immigrants. Since the contractors and subcontractors paid the workers through these shell companies, they were therefore able to avoid being responsible for making sure that the workers were authorized to work in the country, that the workers had workers’ compensation insurance coverage, and that the appropriate payroll taxes were being paid.
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squad-car-1209719_1920-300x162Last week, I reported on the state of civil asset forfeiture in South Carolina—that between 2014-16, law enforcement agencies seized property and cash worth at least $17 million with little oversight on how those assets were taken or used.

With 95 percent of the proceeds from civil asset forfeitures going to fund law enforcement, it is clear there are incentives for police in South Carolina to carry out civil forfeitures. This is known to critics of civil asset forfeiture as “policing for profit.” Last week, I reported on gatherings where officers could earn prizes for having the most property seizures.
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columbus-1618317_1920-300x183Two business owners in Ohio have been convicted for failing to have workers’ compensation insurance coverage for their employees.

The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) first began investigating James T. Wilson, age 53, of New Albany when it was suspected the two companies he was owner and president of were operating without workers’ compensation coverage. Wilson ran both Performance Companies—which specialized in paving as well as hauling topsoil, concrete, and stone—and the Enviro Recycling Group, which specialized in the recycling of metal, asphalt, and concrete.
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