Duo sentenced for $54m workers’ comp insurance fraud scheme

According to the investigation conducted by the California Department of Insurance, Owens obtained workers’ compensation insurance for Bison and then used the documents provided by the insurance company to generate fraudulent certificates of insurance, which were issued to PEO customers. The insurance carrier was informed the policy was to cover a small, white-collar firm, not the PEO customers’ businesses that included agricultural workers, roofers, limo drivers, and a wide variety of other employees.

Beau Wilson, 38, was found to have been aware of this scheme, recruiting customers for Bison and receiving commissions for each client.

Workers left with no insurance coverage

Bison was unable to obtain workers’ compensation insurance due to the continued fraud, so the company entered into a business relationship with another firm that already had a workerscompensation insurance policy, according to the investigation. Owens and his co-conspirators began using that firm’s documents to continue generating fake insurance certificates.

The California Department of Insurance said Bison began paying out claims itself to conceal the fact that its policy was being misused to insure PEO customers.

However, when the expense proved to be too much for the company to sustain, it eventually stopped paying out claims and left workers with no insurance coverage that would provide them with recourse after being injured on the job.

The department ultimately found that Bison failed to pay approximately $29 million in premium and duped its PEO customers out of approximately $25.5 million in fees they thought were paying for workers’ comp coverage.

Both Owens and Wilson will be sentenced to 10 years formal probation and 60 days of community labor, the department said. They were also ordered to pay $350,000 cash prior to their final sentencing in restitution.

Wilson additionally agreed to sell five pieces of real property and remit

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State bill protecting reproductive digital information heads to Newsom’s desk

ORINDA (CBS SF/BCN) – An East Bay state legislator’s bill protecting reproductive digital information handled by companies headquartered in California passed the Legislature on Wednesday and awaits Gov. Gavin Newsom’s signature.

Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan, D-Orinda, worked with Assemblymembers Mia Bonta of Oakland, Cristina Garcia of Bell Gardens and many other co-authors to pass Assembly Bill 1242. The bill was also sponsored by state Attorney General Rob Bonta.

Language in the bill would create a legal path protecting reproductive digital information, in addition to preventing the arrest or turnover of information in investigations related to abortions that are legal in the state, the California Department of Justice said.

“California will not stand idly by as anti-choice states across the nation take radical action to criminalize reproductive rights,” Rob Bonta said. “Abortion is fully legal in California and we’ll fight to protect all who access reproductive health care in our state.”

The bill would prohibit the arrest of anyone “aiding or performing a lawful abortion in California” and prohibits law enforcement in the state from sharing information or aiding out-of-state agencies in an investigation related to a lawful abortion.

AB 1242 would also require out-of-state law enforcement agencies seeking records from corporations in California to attest that the investigation does not involve any crime related to an abortion that is lawful under California law.

“This is an unprecedented step to protect abortion privacy across the country,” Bauer-Kahan said. “We have no obligation to be complicit in enforcing laws that are antithetical to our own values ​​and legal system in California.”

The California Department of Justice said that if another state wanted to track the movement of someone traveling to California for reproductive health care, the bill would block the state from accessing cellphone site tower location data of the person

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