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On December 4, 2013 Richard Lopez Escamilla Jr. 47, was sentenced in Kings County Superior Court to one felony count of insurance fraud and was ordered to pay restitution of nearly $4.2 million to SCIF, SeaBright Insurance and the Employment Development Department. Escamilla was also sentenced to serve six years in prison for defrauding two insurance companies by underreporting employee payroll and unemployment insurance tax evasion.

He operated businesses under several names including ROC Harvesting, EC Labor, EC Labor Inc., and ES Labor. He often changed the names of his businesses to pretend to be a new business in order to lower his premiums.

The department of Insurance said that he was accused of illegally reducing his workers comp premiums by underreporting employee payrolls for his farm labor contracting company, as well as misrepresenting previous comp claims for the firm.

“This is a win for California consumers, insurers and taxpayers,” said Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. “This case isn’t just about one crook who stole from two insurance companies, business owners across the state end up paying the real price for workers’ compensation fraud through higher premiums and those costs are passed to consumers.”

The conviction was the result of a joint investigation with the The San Joaquin Valley Premium Task Force, the King’s County district attorney’s office and the Employment Development Department.