Missouri Supreme Court Upholds Felony Conviction

April 17, 2008

On April 15 the Missouri Supreme Court ruled in favor of a class D felony conviction of Bob Salter of St. Louis, Mo.. Salter was sentenced to one year in prison, fined $5,000 and was assigned an additional $25,000 penalty for failure to maintain workers’ compensation insurance.

Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations Director Todd Smith said his agency was please with the Supreme Court ruling and hopes this outcome sends a strong message to others who have malicious intent on breaking the law.

Salter had appealed his conviction to the Missouri Supreme Court, but in a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court affirmed Salter’s conviction, holding that he was responsible for the acts committed.

In the state of Missouri, businesses with five or more employees are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Construction employers with one or more employees must buy coverage. Those businesses who fail to carry workers’ compensation insurance are deemed noncompliant with the law.

The total number of workers’ compensation fraud and noncompliance cases referred for prosecution is based on several factors. To prosecute cases of fraud, there has to be proof of the intent to gain a benefit. Fraud is committed when an employee, employer, healthcare provider or others, lie to obtain a benefit, monetary or otherwise.

To ensure compliance with workers’ compensation laws, the Fraud and Noncompliance Unit within the Missouri Department of Labor’s Division of Workers’ Compensation conducts confidential investigations of allegations of workers’ compensation fraud and noncompliance. If fraud or noncompliance is evident, the case is referred for prosecution.

For more information about workers’ compensation, visit http://www.dolir.mo.gov/wc/index.asp.

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