Duo sentenced for $54m workers’ comp insurance fraud scheme

Duo sentenced for $54m workers’ comp insurance fraud scheme

According to the investigation conducted by the California Department of Insurance, Owens purchased worker’s compensation insurance for bison and then used the documents provided by the insurance company to create fraudulent insurance certificates issued to PEO clients. The insurance carrier was told that the policy should cover a small, salaried company, not the businesses of the PEO’s customers, which included farm workers, roofers, limousine drivers, and a host of other employees.

Aware of this program, Beau Wilson, 38, recruited customers for Bison and received commissions for each customer.

The workers were left without insurance

Due to the continued fraud, Bison was unable to obtain workers’ compensation insurance, so the company entered into a business relationship with another company that already had workers’ compensation, according to the investigation. Owens and his co-conspirators began using the company’s documents to continue creating fake insurance certificates.

The California Department of Insurance said Bison began paying out claims itself to hide the fact that its policy was being misused to insure PEO customers.

However, when it became apparent that the costs were too high for the company, it eventually stopped paying claims and left workers with no insurance coverage that would give them recourse after an injury at work.

The department eventually found that Bison had failed to pay approximately $29 million in premiums and defrauded its PEO clients of approximately $25.5 million in charges they believed were for professional liability insurance workers paid.

Both Owens and Wilson will be sentenced to 10 years of formal probation and 60 days of community service, the ministry said. They were also ordered to pay $350,000 in cash before their final sentencing.

Wilson also agreed to sell five properties and remit the proceeds of the sale for another restitution.

The two also settled on agreed-upon additional compensation of $14.15 million during their probationary period.

The case was prosecuted by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, with parole and sentencing originally scheduled for September 13, 2023.