A business owner in Visalia was recently convicted of worker’s compensation insurance premium fraud. Douglas Lambert, 48, was found guilty of underreporting employee payroll to Clarendon National, his insurance carrier, and was ordered to pay restitution of over $110,300 to the carrier and to the State of California. Lambert pleaded guilty to one count of insurance fraud.
In February 2010, the Tulare County District Attorney’s Office joined with the Department of Insurance to investigate Lambert, a licensed air conditioning contractor, after a complaint alleged that he had failed to report any employee payroll in an effort to avoid paying higher workers’ compensation insurance premiums. It was discovered that Lambert failed to properly report employee payroll to Clarendon National from 2006 to 2009. In the first three quarters of 2006 Lambert did not report employee payroll, however during that same time he reported over $8,800 in wages. He furthermore reported a worker’s injury to his carrier as a workers’ compensation claim, yet he wasn’t reporting any employee wages at the time.
“Fraud is a multi-million dollar enterprise, which costs consumers over $210 million annually,” said Dave Jones, Commissioner of the California Department of Insurance. “Lambert cheated both Clarendon National and the State of California out of over $110,000, and by doing so passed the cost of his fraud onto consumers across the state. Through a collaborative effort between my department and the Tulare District Attorney’s Office, we have brought another bad actor to justice.”