More than four million American workers are injured at their workplace every year. For this reason, almost every state requires businesses to carry workers’ compensation insurance, which covers the medical bills, recovery costs, and partial lost wages of a worker who is injured on the job.
In January, Bob Coleman, age 69, a county commissioner for Glynn County, Georgia, was arrested together with his wife Sherry, age 59, after a yearlong investigation into their business practices. The couple together ran Coleman Insurance, and Bob Coleman was a respected member of the community. He was elected to the Glynn County Commission three times, and the couple has lived in the area for their whole lives.
A business owner in Newberry, Florida has been sentenced to one year and one day in prison for his part in a tax fraud scheme. The scheme also involved avoiding paying workers’ compensation insurance, as well as harboring immigrants who were in the country without permission.
Mac Johnson, age 51, is owner of three companies—Mac Johnson Roofing Inc., Mac Johnson and Sons Dumpster and Crane, and Johnson and Sons Tree Service. The Florida Department of Financial Services—Workers’ Compensation Compliance Division made several visits to the work sites of Johnson’s companies. Investigators learned that, apart from the foreman, Johnson’s employees neither spoke English nor possessed any personal identification.
In April, the California Contractors State License Board (CSLB) led a sting operation designed to catch contractors working without a license or carrying workers compensation insurance. Agents pretended to own a home in the Liberty Park area of the city. They invited contractors to bid on various improvement projects in the house. The bids ranged from $950 to $4,200.
Anner Valentin Amaya, age 45, of Revere, a city north of Boston, is the owner of Valetin’s General Contractors Inc. which also does business as Valentin’s Home Improvement. His company has worked on home renovations in the Boston and Cape Cod areas. The Insurance Fraud Bureau of Massachusetts began looking into Amaya’s business practices before referring the investigation to the state Attorney General’s Office.