Judge Orders San Diego Contractor to Pay $475,000 to State Fund and Serve 1-Year Jail Term in Insurance Fraud Case

Aug 29, 2006, 01:00 ET from State Compensation Insurance Fund

    SAN DIEGO and SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- San Diego Superior
 Court Judge David Danielsen ordered the owner of a San Diego area
 construction company to pay $475,563 in restitution to the State
 Compensation Insurance Fund as part of his sentence for committing workers'
 compensation insurance premium fraud. Damian L. Seiler, 57, a licensed
 general contractor and owner of the Pacific Home Company, was also given
 jail time of 365 days and sentenced to five years probation.
     Seiler was also ordered to pay the State Employment Development
 Department $232,768 in restitution. State Fund also received an additional
 $951 to pay for its investigative costs. In all, Seiler was ordered to pay
 total restitution costs of $709,283.
     Seiler established his company in Solana Beach in 2000 and specialized
 in condo conversions. The fraud was uncovered after Seiler filed a workers'
 compensation claim for an employee, even though he had never reported any
 wages for the employee to State Fund. State Fund performed an audit of
 Seiler's company and found irregularities. State Fund referred the
 suspected fraud case to the San Diego County District Attorney's Office in
 August 2005, and the DA's Office subsequently served a search warrant on
 Pacific Home Company. As a result of the audit and the documents obtained
 from the search, it was determined that Seiler had underreported wages of
 his employees by more than $1.1 million in order to receive a lower
 insurance premium.
     "State Fund will continue to commit significant resources to help the
 San Diego County District Attorney's Office and their counterparts
 statewide battle workers' compensation fraud," said Donna Gallagher, who
 manages State Fund's Fraud Investigation Program (FIP). "We applaud the San
 Diego District Attorney's Office's commitment to investigating and
 prosecuting workers' compensation fraud so vigorously."
     State Fund's Fraud Investigation Program (FIP) addresses all aspects of
 workers' compensation insurance fraud, including employee, employer,
 medical and legal. In the last decade, State Fund's FIP has produced
 hundreds of arrests and convictions in a wide range of workers'
 compensation cases, including some considered milestones in California's
 fight against fraud.
     EDITOR'S NOTE: Established by the California Legislature in 1914, State
 Compensation Insurance Fund is a nonprofit, and wholly self-supporting
 public enterprise carrier that provides workers' compensation coverage at
 cost to all California employers. For more information, please visit
 www.scif.com .
     Vicente Hernandez - State Fund               Jim Zelinski (For State Fund)
     415/565-1683                                 415/420-6050 or 925/242-0918

SOURCE State Compensation Insurance Fund