California Arrests Three in Alleged $5 Million Comp Fraud

The state's insurance commissioner, Steve Poizner, announced the arrests this week of three people who operated a general building contractor and allegedly falsified the type of work being done and wages paid on construction jobs.

Alleging that three arrests had broken up a $5 million fraud, California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner said Monica Mui Ung, 49, of Alamo; Joey Ruan, 31, of San Leandro; and Tin Wai Wu, 28, of Millbrae have been charged with 48 counts of workers' compensation insurance fraud, labor code violations, and tax fraud. Bail was set at $535,000 for each suspect, according to the Insurance Department.

"When businesses cheat the system to save money, they are only setting themselves up to pay later, by serving time in prison," Poizner said. "The Department of Insurance will not stop going after fraud perpetrators until every one is brought to justice."

Ung owned and operated NBC General Contractors Inc., a general building contracting company that relied mainly on public works projects such as El Cerrito City Hall. From May 2003 to May 2007, the company won at least 27 public works projects in five counties. "The cost for NBC's workers' compensation insurance was determined by employee wages, total amount of payroll and job classifications of the employees. Ung, Ruan and Wu allegedly made intentional and material misrepresentations to their workers' compensation insurance carrier to misclassify the type of work their employees were performing, as well as falsely reporting the hourly wage of more than 70 employees, saving them a significant amount in workers' compensation premiums," according to the department's news release.

Not only did NBC have a significant advantage over other bidders because of the alleged misrepresentations, but also the alleged false reporting resulted in a total loss of premiums of more than $1.45 million. The department alleges NBC did not pay overtime or sick leave to employees, as required under labor laws, accounting for an additional $3.6 million in unpaid wages to 19 employees. The case is being prosecuted by the Alameda County District Attorney's Office.

Product Showcase

  • NoiseCHEK Personal Noise Dosimeter

    SKC NoiseCHEK is the easiest-to-use dosimeter available! Designed specifically for OEHS professionals, SKC NoiseCHEK offers the easiest operation and accurate noise measurements. Everything you need is right in your palm. Pair Bluetooth models to your mobile devices and monitor workers remotely with the SmartWave dB app without interrupting workflow. Careful design features like a locking windscreen, sturdy clip, large front-lit display, bright status LEDs, and more make NoiseCHEK the top choice in noise dosimeters. Demo NoiseCHEK at AIHA Connect Booth 1003. 3

  • SlateSafety BAND V2

    SlateSafety BAND V2

    SlateSafety's BAND V2 is the most rugged, easy-to-use connected safety wearable to help keep your workforce safe and help prevent heat stress. Worn on the upper arm, this smart PPE device works in tandem with the SlateSafety V2 system and the optional BEACON V2 environmental monitor. It includes comprehensive, enterprise-grade software that provides configurable alert thresholds, real-time alerts, data, and insights into your safety program's performance all while ensuring your data is secure and protected. Try it free for 30 days. 3

  • Matrix's OmniPro Vision AI Collision Avoidance System

    OmniPro Vision AI is a state-of-the-art collision avoidance system that features NIOSH award-winning Visual Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology. This highly accurate, powerful system identifies and alerts on pedestrians, vehicles and specified objects, ensuring safer facilities, mining operations and industrial sites. With its web-based cloud application, OmniPro Vision AI also logs and analyzes a wide range of data related to zone breach notifications. Operating without needing personal wearable devices or tags, OmniPro has visual and audible zone breach alerts for both operators and pedestrians. 3

Featured