"Businesses that illegally underreport payroll and employees create a competitive advantage that places honest businesses at risk," Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara said in a statement. "This joint investigation with Amador County levels the playing field, so honest employers have a chance to stay competitive and in the marketplace." (Credit: designer491/Shutterstock) "Businesses that illegally underreportpayroll and employees create a competitive advantage that placeshonest businesses at risk," Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Larasaid in a statement. "This joint investigation with Amador Countylevels the playing field, so honest employers have a chance to staycompetitive and in the marketplace." (Credit:designer491/Shutterstock)

Michael Zendejas was sentenced to 180 hours of communityservice, three years formal probation and ordered to pay $944,718in restitution after pleading no contest to insurance fraud forunderreporting payroll by approximately $4.9 million that resultedin a $944,718 loss to his insurer, according to theCalifornia Department of Insurance.

As the owner and president of Trinity Personnel Inc., anemployment agency that provides temporary workers, Zendejasobtained a workers' compensation policy from State CompensationInsurance Fund (SCIF) in September 2014 through December 2016. SCIFperformed an audit of the policy and found that Zendejassignificantly underreported the company's payroll and the number ofemployees in order to receive a lower workers' compensationinsurance premium.

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Denny Jacob

Denny Jacob is an associate editor for NU PropertyCasualty360. Contact him at [email protected].