Jury Convicts South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Consultant

July 22, 2010

After a two day trial, a South Carolina workers’ compensation consultant and former state representative has been found guilty of mail fraud for fabricating payroll figures in order to obtain lower premiums for a client, according to officials.

U.S. Attorney William N. Nettles said that the jury deliberated a little more than an hour before delivering its verdict against Robert A. Kohn, of Charleston.

According to evidence presented during the trial, Kohn worked as an insurance consultant, periodically assisting companies with workers compensation matters. Among those companies was Knight’s Services, a Charleston-based pipe-fitting and welding company overseen by Roy Knight that did work at Detyens Shipyards.

Between 2002 and 2004, Kohn helped prepare Knight’s Services’ annual insurance submissions to Companion Property & Casualty Insurance Co. The premiums charged were based on the payroll for the company. Kohn and Roy Knight, who has previously pled guilty to related charges, fabricated Knight’s Services’ payroll figures in order to obtain lower premiums for the company. Over the three-year time span, Kohn saved Knight approximately $370,000 in premiums.

The fraud was discovered after a Knight’s Services employee, Matthew Williamson, died performing work at the shipyard. The subsequent workers compensation claim and scrutiny of the policy led to criminal charges for Kohn and Knight.

Judge P. Michael Duffy of Charleston presided over the case and will impose the sentence on a date to be determined. The maximum penalty Kohn could receive is a fine of $250,000 and/or imprisonment of 20 years.

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