Michael Vincent Petronella owned several businesses, including The Reroofing Specialists, Inc., doing business as Petronella Roofing, Western Cleanoff, Inc., and Petronella Corporation.
An SCIF claims manager compiled a list of 42 persons who filed workers’ compensation claims under Petronella Roofing’s policy whose payroll had not been reported to SCIF. A certified public accountant compared the payroll reports and audit documents defendant provided SCIF with the quarterly employee wage reports actually received by EDD. Over that 8-year span, the difference in payroll reported to EDD and that reported to SCIF exceeded $29 million.
Petronella was convicted of 33 counts of insurance premium fraud. The superior court sentenced defendant to 10 years in state prison. It also and ordered him to pay $500,000 in restitution award in 2013. The Court of Appeal reversed the trial court’s restitution order, but otherwise affirmed the judgment in the 2013 published case of The People v Michael Vincent Petronella (2013) 218 Cal.App.4th 945. (Petronella 1 )
After additional restitution hearings, the trial court ordered Petronella to pay restitution in the amount of $13.4 million, which is $18 million less than what the prosecution requested, but $12 million more than what he felt he owed. So he again appealed, contending that the court’s restitution order is irrational and lacking evidentiary support.
The Court of Appeal disagreed with Petronella, and affirmed the restitution order in the unpublished case of People v. Petronella (2019) – (Petronella II).
In affirming the restitution order of $13.4 million, the Court of Appeal concluded: “The fact of the matter is appellant carried out one of the largest insurance premium scams in the history of California’s workers’ compensation system. To the extent the scope and nature of his misconduct precludes an exact determination of SCIF’s losses, the equities favor SCIF as far as calculating the amount of restitution it is due. (See People v. Prosser (2007) 157 Cal.App.4th 682, 691; People v. Baker (2005) 126 Cal.App.4th 463, 469.) In light of all the relevant considerations, we are satisfied there is a factual and rational basis for the trial court’s restitution order. No abuse of discretion or other ground for reversal has been shown.”