St. Anthony, Idaho, resident Nathan S. Froehlich pleaded guilty to one count of workers’ compensation insurance fraud and one count of failure to keep a workers’ compensation insurance policy, Attorney General Lawrence Wasden said. Fourth District Judge Ronald Wilper sentenced Froehlich to 180 days in the county jail. The court suspended 90 days of the jail sentence. Froehlich also received two years of supervised probation and must reimburse the state for the court costs and fees.
According to the Attorney General’s office, Froehlich owned the Relay Station, a restaurant in St. Anthony, from 2003 until 2006. As a business owner, Froehlich was required, by law, to maintain workers’ compensation insurance for his employees. However, the State Insurance Fund cancelled his policy after Froehlich failed to provide required employee payroll reports. On April 17, 2006, Froehlich applied for reinstatement of the insurance. The policy was reinstated on May 12, 2006.
On July 21, Froehlich filed an injury report for an employee claiming her injury occurred on June 16. However, a sheriff’s report reflected this same employee was taken by ambulance from the Relay Station on April 12 and treated at a local hospital for a work-related injury. The injury required surgery in July which was not covered because Froehlich did not have workers’ compensation coverage at the time of the injury. The employee was forced to pay more than $21,000 in medical expenses.
Froehlich was tried twice on related charges. Following each trial, the jury was unable to reach a verdict.
The Idaho Department of Insurance investigated the case, and the Insurance Crimes Unit of the Attorney General’s Criminal Law Division prosecuted the case at the request of the Ada County Prosecuting Attorney. Deputy Attorney General Kenneth M. Robins prosecuted the case.