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The Ventura County District Attorney announced that 50-year old Robert Zermeno Delara, who lives in Fillmore, pled guilty to felony workers’ compensation fraud and admitted a special allegation that the theft totaled more than $100,000.

Delara is the owner-operator of two farm-labor contracting businesses located in Ventura County, Pacific Coast Farm Labor and B&R Farm Labor. Through these businesses, Delara provides farm-labor and harvesting services to local agricultural producers who rely upon him to provide a skilled workforce while adhering to the safety and workplace injury reporting requirements of California law.

Delara was charged with three felony counts of violating Insurance Code section1871.4 for making false or fraudulent statements to discourage injured employees from seeking medical care. And was also charged with four additional felony counts of violating Penal Code section550(b)(3) for concealing or failing to disclose information that would impact his injured employees’ entitlement to benefits.

In his plea, Delara admitted to discouraging his employees from obtaining medical care for on-the-job injuries they sustained. He also admitted making material misrepresentations to his insurance carriers about the occurrence of such injuries in order to lower his insurance premiums.

At the time the case was filed, the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office Workers’ Compensation Fraud Unit obtained a court order seizing over $1 million in Delara’s bank accounts and assets in connection with the fraud. As a condition of his plea, these assets will be liquidated to pay victim restitution and fines.

Delara is scheduled to be sentenced on June 2, 2022, at 9:00 a.m. in courtroom 23 of the Ventura County Superior Court. He faces a maximum sentence of eight years in jail.

“The District Attorney’s Office will not tolerate the abuse of farmworkers in our county,” said District Attorney Erik Nasarenko. “Any employer who conceals workplace injuries to fraudulently obtain lower insurance rates will be held accountable.”