From the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office:
Martinez, Calif. – Selina Singh, 57, and Kabir Singh, 30, both of San Ramon, pled guilty to conspiracy to commit insurance premium fraud and related felonies Tuesday. Both defendants also admitted an aggravated white collar crime enhancement for a loss exceeding $500,000 through a pattern of criminal activity.
Workers compensation coverage to protect employees from injury is mandatory in the State of California. Premium fraud creates unfair competition in dangerous industries, as law-abiding business owners are outbid by competitors that unlawfully evade the cost of coverage at the expense of their workers. Such fraud can also result in harm to public if it exposes the person or entity hiring the contractor to liability for the injury, or even to the unsuspecting employees themselves, as an injured worker may encounter a claim denial or delay in obtaining coverage for needed medical care if the employer’s false reporting of company operations causes the insurance company to question and investigate the employee’s claim of injury.
The investigation of this case started after an employee severed his thumb while working on a Bara Infoware, Inc. construction jobsite at Fort Hunter Liggett. The injured employee and his site safety supervisor reported to Monterey County District Attorney investigators that Selina Singh directed them to lie about the injury occurring on a Bara Infoware, Inc. jobsite and report it occurred while working for the family’s other company, Federal Solutions Group.
The Monterey County District Attorney’s Office determined the companies were headquartered in San Ramon, California and started a joint investigation with the relevant local and State agencies. Investigators determined that the defendants obtained government contracts, including construction contracts that required compliance with workers compensation laws. Defendants then used their companies (to) hire, employ, and pay construction laborers, carpenters, painters, and other workers in order to complete construction work, even as they fraudulently misrepresented the construction payroll to insurance carriers in less dangerous industries such as clerical, and consulting, in order to lower their insurance rates.
Investigators located another injured employee that reported that Kabir Singh asked him not to report his injury and offered to pay his medical expenses instead of reporting the injury to company’s insurance and located a third company, Eagle Solutions, that was used first to move money between Bara Infoware, Inc. and Federal Solutions Group, and then eventually directly to obtain workers compensation policies for non-construction payroll while running construction jobsites. An audit by a forensic accountant at the Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office concluded that the scheme evaded over $2 million dollars of insurance premiums that law abiding competitors would have had to pay in seven years, in addition to over $200,000 of evaded payroll tax owed to the State of California.
Selina Singh pled guilty to conspiracy to commit insurance fraud, insurance premium fraud, payroll tax fraud, and a white collar crime enhancement. The maximum sentence for those charges is eleven years and eight months.
Kabir Singh pled guilty to conspiracy to commit insurance fraud, insurance premium fraud, and a white collar crime enhancement. The maximum sentence for those charges is eleven years and eight months.
The Honorable Laurel Brady accepted the pleas. Sentencing is scheduled for November 19 at 1:30 p.m. in Department 31 of the Contra Costa County Superior Court.