Unlicensed labor broker pleads guilty to comp insurance fraud

An unlicensed New York employment broker pleaded guilty Wednesday to two felony counts of insurance fraud and fraudulent practice in connection with a scheme to evade payment of workers’ compensation insurance premiums.

Salvador Almonte Jr. was involved in what prosecutors called an “extensive insurance fraud scheme” that resulted in more than $1 million in premiums being embezzled and left more than a hundred construction workers out of insurance.

Mr Almonte, who will be asked to pay $500,000 in damages as part of a guilty plea, is scheduled to be sentenced in May.

According to authorities, Mr Almonte admitted that he ran the scheme between January 2015 and late 2018, during which time he made false representations to insurance companies, including the New York State Insurance Fund, to secure worker compensation insurance coverage at a reduced rate.

Mr Almonte told the insurer that his workers were performing tasks such as interior cleaning or carpentry when in reality they were involved in a high-rise superstructure construction project, according to prosecutors.

He also refused to cooperate with the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board after injured workers filed compensation claims, prosecutors said.

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