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State Fund to Receive $113,000 From San Diego Businessman in Workers' Compensation Insurance Fraud Case

Copyright:PR Newswire
Source:PR Newswire
Wordcount:314

SAN DIEGO and SAN FRANCISCO, June 5 /PRNewswire/ -- San Diego County Superior Court Judge Fred McGuire ordered a San Diego construction firm owner to pay State Compensation Insurance Fund $113,327 in restitution for defrauding the workers' compensation insurance carrier; and, $60,000 to the State Economic Development Department (EDD) for unemployment tax evasion. Thomas Behrendt, 50, of San Diego, was also sentenced to three years formal probation as part of his June 4 sentence on his felony conviction for workers' compensation insurance fraud.

State Fund -- which had insured Behrendt's firm Sunset Structures Inc. from 2003 to 2006 -- suspected fraud during a review of an injured worker's claim. Behrendt originally denied that the injured worker was indeed a company employee.

Behrendt failed to pay proper workers' compensation insurance premiums for a period of three years, and unemployment taxes, and by extension gained an illegal competitive advantage.

State Fund assisted the San Diego County District Attorney's Office -- including prosecutor Deputy District Attorney Ernie Marugg -- in its investigation which included a detailed audit of Behrendt's workers' compensation records.

State Fund's Fraud Investigation Program (FIP) addresses all aspects of workers' compensation insurance fraud, including employee, employer, medical and legal. In the last decade, State Fund's FIP has produced hundreds of arrests and convictions in a wide range of workers' compensation cases, including some considered milestones in California's fight against fraud.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Established by the California Legislature in 1914, State Compensation Insurance Fund is a self-supporting, nonprofit, fairly competitive public enterprise that provides workers' compensation insurance coverage at cost to California employers. State Fund is headquartered in San Francisco. For more information about State Fund, please visit http://www.scif.com.

CONTACTS:

Vicente Hernandez - 415/565-1683 Jim Zelinski (For State Fund)

    State Fund                          925/242-0918 or 415/420-6050

SOURCE State Compensation Insurance Fund

CONTACT: Vicente Hernandez of State Fund, +1-415-565-1683, or Jim Zelinski for State Fund, +1-925-242-0918 or +1-415-420-6050

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