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The San Diego County District Attorney announced charges against four businesses, their owners and several employees who were indicted on various types of insurance fraud including workers compensation fraud, unemployment fraud and tax evasion

Owners of A1 Patio and Remodeling Experts in Encinitas, Christina Engineering in Escondido, Quality Way Building Maintenance in National City and Rufino’s Landscaping of Escondido were all indicted by the grand jury in December for their roles in bilking insurance companies and the state tax board out of $1.5 million. Fourteen defendants were indicted in December. Of those, four were arraigned on January 6, and the remainder is scheduled to be arraigned this week in San Diego Superior Court . They include Joshua Swarthout, James Hooper, Andrew Curtis, Billy Ray Alsbrook, George Norton, Jacob Kuhn, Pat Gee, Tim Mountney, and Tom Jarvis . If the defendants fail to appear for arraignment, warrants will be issued for their arrest.

When an employee of Russ E. Kubart of A1 Patio and Remodeling Experts.injured himself after falling from a deck at a jobsite, Kubart told the employee to tell medical staff he injured himself at home because Kubart did not have workers ’ compensation insurance. Loss to known victims is $160,000. Ten employees of Christina Engineering were indicted for their roles in receiving unemployment benefits at the same time they were being paid cash to work, which they were encouraged to do by their employer. Loss to known victims is $350,000 .  Marcos Castaneda , of Quality Way Building Maintenance was indicted on four counts of felony insurance fraud for his role in intentionally lying about his payroll in order to receive reduced workers compensation premiums. Loss to know victims is $133,921. Rufino Aguiluz and his wife, Maria Foulk of Rufino’s Landscaping , were indicted on several counts of insurance fraud, payroll tax evasion and income tax evasion for their roles in failing to report payroll to various workers’ compensation insurance carriers and tax collectors. Loss to known victims is $952,202.

“These are excellent examples of the variations found within the underground economy that continues to negatively impact the California Workers’ Compensation system” said Donald Marshal, Chair of the California Workers’ Compensation Fraud Assessment Commission . “We can see that the victims of these alleged crimes include injured workers and the citizens of the State who must absorb the costs paid for this criminal activity. Congratulations to the San Diego District Attorney’s Office and the California Department of Insurance for their hard work in disrupting the activities of these suspected criminal enterprises.”