La. Contractor Finding Visit to Fla. Not so Great; Felony Charges Filed for Lack of Workers’ Comp

April 15, 2005

A Louisiana contractor is facing felony charges for reportedly failing to obtain workers’ compensation insurance for workers he brought into the state to rebuild hurricane-damaged roofs in Central Florida.

Todd Woods, 37, owner of A-1 Construction and Roofing, was arrested Monday by investigators with the Department of Financial Services, Division of Insurance Fraud. He is charged with failure to obtain Florida workers’ comp insurance, a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison, and presenting false information as evidence of compliance, a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison.

Woods was booked into the Osceola County Jail and released on $1,500 bail. The Osceola County State Attorney’s Office is prosecuting the charges.

Woods had coverage with the Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Corporation (LWCC), but the policy reportedly clearly states that the coverage does not cover work performed outside of Louisiana. Investigators found that Woods had obtained numerous permits from the Osceola County Building Department and St. Clouds Building Department for roofing jobs.

In October 2004, Don Schmidt, owner of Schmidt Contracting and Roofing in St. Cloud, subcontracted with A-1 to repair hurricane-damaged roofs in Poinciana, and Schmidt requested proof of workers’ comp insurance. Woods provided the LWCC certificate.

When Schmidt’s insurance company attempted to verify the coverage with the agent in Louisiana, they were reportedly informed that the policy did not cover work in Florida.

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