On Jan. 31, Gregg Leo Curwick, of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., surrendered himself in Bakersfield to investigators from the California Department of Insurance’s Fraud Division and the Kern County District Attorney’s Office. Curwick was taken into custody on a felony arrest warrant for one count of misrepresenting facts to obtain workers’ compensation insurance, one count of grand theft, and one count of embezzlement.
If convicted on all counts, Curwick could face up to eight years in state prison and a fine up to $202,000. His arrest was the result of a joint CDI-district attorney investigation with significant assistance from the State Compensation Insurance Fund.
From 2001 through 2002, Curwick managed two different temporary employment businesses before becoming the co-owner and operations manager of A-1 Staffing in February 2003. All three business enterprises involving Curwick were in Bakersfield.
In November 2003, Curwick allegedly produced two fictitious workers’ comp coverage certificates to construction business clients of A-1 Staffing, claiming that A-1 Staffing employees were covered by workers’ comp insurance.
After receiving the certificates, both construction businesses learned from SCIF that A-1 Staffing’s workers’ comp policy was cancelled in October 2003. When investigators contacted SCIF regarding the alleged fictitious coverage certificates, they also learned that Curwick’s two prior temporary employment businesses reportedly terminated operations while owing SCIF approximately $33,000.
The ensuing investigation was assisted by A-1 Staffing’s other co-owner, who was not involved in Curwick’s allegedly fraudulent activities. The investigation indicated that Curwick allegedly pocketed monies paid by clients for workers’ comp insurance premiums and employee income taxes. Curwick also allegedly underreported A-1 Staffing’s monthly payroll and job classifications to SCIF to avoid paying additional workers’ comp premium payments.
Some A-1 Staffing clients who had workers’ comp policies with SCIF for regular employees and had already paid A-1 Staffing for workers’ comp coverage were required to reimburse SCIF for temporary employees hired through A-1 Staffing. Losses to SCIF and A-1 Staffing clients are estimated at more than $76,000.
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