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Trucker found dead in cab leads investigators to workers’ comp scheme with $2 million in underreported payroll

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A former trucking company owner is facing charges after an employee death led California investigators to uncover workers’ comp fraud with over $2 million in underreported payroll.

On May 14, Heigo Kubar, 84, was arraigned on three felony counts of workers’ compensation fraud, according to the California Department of Insurance (CDI).

Kubar formerly owned TKJ Trucking.

An investigation into the company began when an employee was found dead in a company-owned semi truck.

According to authorities, Kubar’s insurance company found that the employee was classified as a sales person, not a truck driver. However, 25 days after his death, TKJ Trucking amended the employee’s job classification to truck driver.

“An investigation, led by the Fresno County District Attorney’s Office, found the deceased employee had been working for TKJ Trucking as a truck driver for approximately 15 years. At the time of their death, the cost to insure a sales person was approximately $1 for every $100 in payroll, but the cost to insure a truck driver was approximately $20 for every $100 in payroll,” CDI said.

“An audit by the California Department of Insurance, as part of the task force investigation, revealed that between December 1, 2018 to December 1, 2021, TKJ Trucking had workers’ compensation insurance coverage and reported $875,591 in employee payroll, however, the company actually had $3,233,899 in payroll. Kubar underreported payroll by $2,358,307, resulting in insurance premiums of $480,093 owed to Kubar’s insurance company,” CDI continued.

Kubar’s next court date is August 14, 2024.

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