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Five defendants were recently arraigned on multiple felony counts of insurance fraud after a California Department of Insurance investigation found the landscaping company the defendants owned and/or supervised allegedly underreported employees’ wages to their insurance company in order to unlawfully save on workers’ compensation insurance premiums.

Three defendants include Antonio Martinez Resendiz of Murrieta, Ismael Martinez Resendiz of Fallbrook, and Jorge Martinez Resendiz of Temecula, owners of Green View Landscape & Tree Service Inc. in Escondido.

The two additional defendants are Ariana Martinez of Murrieta, and Silvia Reyna Martinez of Temecula, supervisors within the company.

Employers are required to maintain workers’ compensation insurance to cover their employees in the event of an on-the-job injury. To ensure proper coverage, employers are required to accurately report their employees’ job classifications and the amount of payroll expended. One of the common ways in which employers avoid paying insurance premiums is to underreport employee payroll by providing false payroll reports to their insurance company.

Businesses that fraudulently lower their premiums benefit from an unfair market advantage, giving them the ability to charge less in labor costs, and thereby underbid businesses who pay the appropriate premiums.

The San Diego County District Attorney’s Office is prosecuting this case.