Insurance Fraud NEWS
Houston limo firm accused of underreporting payroll
April 09, 2019, Houston, TX
On April 8, Travis County grand juries returned indictments against two Texas companies involved in alleged premium fraud.
Amer Haurani of Ambassador Limousine and Charter service out of Houston is charged with a first-degree felony for allegedly under reporting payroll for limousine drivers between May 2008 and 2012 to get a lower insurance rate. If convicted, Haurani faces five to 99 years behind bars and up to a $10,000 fine.
The owner of a Lockhart, Texas drywall company, was also indicted April 8 on a state jail felony for premium fraud. Kevin Ortiz of Ortiz Drywall was charged with a state jail felony and if convicted, could face 180 days to two years in jail and be fined up to $10,000.
Workers' compensation premiums are based, in part, on an employer's payroll and the kind of work the company performs. Manipulating or misrepresenting one or more of these factors to get lower rates is premium fraud. This type of fraud gives certain employers an unfair advantage over their competitors and is costly to the whole system.
The Division of Workers' Compensation's (DWC) prosecution unit obtained the indictments. DWC's prosecution unit is embedded in the Travis County District Attorney's Office and was created during the 85th Texas Legislature.