Local business owner arrested for insurance fraud
Paso Robles man charged with two felonies
A Paso Robles man was arrested for allegedly failing to correctly report his employee payroll to the State Compensation Insurance Fund. Jay Scott Silva, 53, owner of Drywall Dynamics, was arrested last month by the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office and booked into the county jail on two felony counts of workers’ compensation insurance fraud, the California Department of Insurance reported Thursday.
“Premium insurance fraud is not a victimless crime,” said Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. “Actions like Silva’s are what artificially inflate costs to insurers, consumers and California taxpayers. The Department of Insurance is committed to working with other allied agencies to combat the multi-billion dollar enterprise that is fraud.”
The California Department of Insurance began its investigation after the Carpenters/Contractors Cooperation Committee notified the department’s Fraud Division of Silva’s improper conduct regarding employee wages. Department investigators determined Silva was incorrectly reporting employee payroll, which reduced his rate of paid premium by $67,000.
“Workers’ compensation premium fraud hurts hard working men and women trying to make a living and feed their families,” said David Kersh, Executive Director of the Carpenters/Contractors Cooperation Committee. “It hurts honest employers that play by the rules and want to create good paying employment opportunities in our communities. In addition to the issue of premium fraud, Drywall Dynamics had also cheated its workers out of hundreds of thousands of dollars in wages. We applaud the work done by the Department of Insurance in cracking down on construction contractors that break the law.”
If convicted Silva faces a maximum of five years in jail, possible fines and full restitution. Bail was set at $30,000.
The California Department of Insurance, established in 1868, is the largest consumer protection agency in California, regulating the $123 billion insurance marketplace. In 2012 the California Department of Insurance received more than 160,000 calls from consumers and helped recover over $64 million in claims and premiums.