(Editor's Note: The following information was received by Patch from the Santa Cruz County District Attorney's Office and is reproduced here.)
Santa Cruz County District Attorney Bob Lee announced that Sanjiv Kakkar was sentenced to jail for workers compensation insurance fraud.
Mr. Kakkar, age 52, pleaded guilty to felony counts of premium insurance fraud and failure to disclose a worker's injury and one misdemeanor count of failure to maintain workers compensation coverage.
After paying $52,029.96 in restitution and over $10,000 in fines the defendant was then sentenced to an additional one year in the jail.
The four-year investigation began after an employee reported an injury he suffered to the Santa Cruz County District Attorney Workers’ Compensation Fraud Unit. The worker said his employer was not paying for his medical bills as required by California law.
A forensic accountant from the California Department of Insurance [CDI], Morgan Hill Office, was called in and discovered an underreporting of employee wages and an underpayment of insurance policy premiums.
Assistant District Attorney Kelly Walker who prosecuted the case stated that these prosecutions are extremely important to our community. "We see too often employees put at extreme risk doing difficult labor with no recourse if they are hurt."
Additional investigations by other agencies revealed multiple health and safety, building, labor and tax code violations.
An investigation by the Monterey Bay Unified Air Pollution Control District revealed air-borne asbestos being released into the Brookdale dining room just days before a Valentine's Day banquet for seniors was to be held. Although ordered not to have the banquet the orders were ignored and two tour buses of seniors attended the February 14th event.
Mr. Kakkar pled guilty to violations of the health and safety code and was sentenced to and paid a $10,000 fine for those violations.
California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones said. “Detectives from my department along with
investigators and the prosecutors from the Santa Cruz District Attorney’s Office worked together to
bring Kakkar to justice. Their tireless efforts have stopped him from ripping off insurers and leaving
employees at risk.”