A brother and sister who run a construction company in Paramount entered into plea deals in connection with a $6 million workers' compensation fraud and labor theft scheme, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office announced Wednesday.
Enrique Vera, 48, of Tarzana, who owns Ultimate Inc., pleaded no contest Tuesday to one felony count each of workers' compensation fraud and grand theft of labor, according to Deputy District Attorney Christopher Hartman.
Gloria Vera, 58, of Tarzana, who is the company's office manager, pleaded no contest to one felony count each of workers' compensation fraud and insurance fraud, he said.
The two also admitted an allegation of committing fraud and embezzlement that resulted in a loss of more than $500,000 to the State Compensation Insurance Fund.
The siblings submitted altered payroll records to the state insurance fund in order to pay a reduced premium on the company's workers' compensation insurance, according to the prosecutor.
Gloria Vera also failed to disclose and concealed employees' on-the-job injuries that entitled them to workers' compensation, and her brother underpaid employees on a student housing renovation project at UCLA, according to the District Attorney's Office.
The plea agreement requires the two to pay $6.3 million in restitution and more than $5,000 in investigative costs to the insurance fund, along with $30,000 in fines. They will also be required to undergo one year of electronic monitoring, complete 500 hours of community service and comply with the state insurance fund in future dealings, according to Hartman.
If the requirements are met by their October 2020 sentencing, the defendants' convictions will be reduced to misdemeanors and they will be placed on 18 months probation. Otherwise, Enrique Vera could face eight years and eight months behind bars, while his sister could face nine years in custody, according to the District Attorney's Office.