The CEO of a construction business in northern California has been accused, together with her husband and son, of committing workers’ compensation insurance fraud, bribery, and money laundering. The company had several major contracts with the federal government and the military.
Selina Singh, age 55, was president and CEO of Federal Solutions Group (FSG), while her husband Majinder Paul “MP” Singh, age 57, was vice president and in charge of administrating the business. Selina employed her son, Kabir, age 28, in the family business. Interviewed in 2016, Selina explained why: “We told him that we started everything from scratch, so it’s better you learn from us and grow with us as we grow—that way you can learn faster.” The three also work for another firm owned by the family, Bara Infoware Inc.
The three were charged in November with multiple counts of workers’ compensation fraud, insurance fraud, laundering $1.5 million, as well as conspiracy. Documents filed by the prosecution allege that the three told employees injured on the job that they should not report their injuries. On occasion, they even bribed their employees. They did so to avoid paying their insurance fees. The defendants are also charged with providing insurance companies with false information.
The two companies, FSG and Bara Infowares, focused on winning government contracts. According to their websites, they list the Department of Justice, the Department of the Navy, the Executive Office of the President, and multiple state governments as clients, as well as several branches of the armed forces.
In 2016, Singh explained how after immigrating to the United States from India, she had set up the FSG with her husband. At the time, she had no work experience in the U.S., although she had worked as a corporate lawyer back in India. “I didn’t have any professional qualifications when I decided to start this company,” she said. “We just looked online for how to do it, filled out a lot of paperwork, and did it. It took us a few years to figure out how to operate, but here we are.”
Selina and Kabir were arrested and have been released on bail. Majinder has not yet been arrested. A judge this week will consider a motion of whether to increase the amount of bail to $500,000.
I have reported on a number of businesses that have attempted to avoid paying workers’ compensation insurance by misclassifying their employees or of fabricating payrolls to conceal the true amount of workers’ compensation owed. Workers compensation premiums are a sizeable overhead for businesses. In a competitive marketplace, businesses may feel pressure to lower costs in order to increase profits and to be able to undercut competitors.
When interviewed, Abdul Haleem, a former project manager for FSG, spoke of a positive atmosphere he saw in the company. “She takes care of her employees. Everyone seems to have a good relationship, and it feels like a family environment.
In total, the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s office filed 14 felony charges against the defendants. The charges cover the period 2010-17.
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