News: 2009 Press Release
For Release: September 25, 2009
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
Insurance Commissioner Poizner Announces Two West Covina Men Surrender on Workers' Comp Premium Fraud Charges
Insurance Commissioner Poizner announced today that two men surrendered to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Thursday. Steven Antu, 40, and Pete Albano, 51, both of West Covina, are each charged with three felony counts of premium fraud. The men are being held on $186,518 bail. If convicted on all counts, Antu and Albano each face a maximum of 15 years in state prison and up to $372,000 in fines.
"Falsely reporting information to your workers comp insurer in order to save money is wrong and illegal," said Commissioner Poizner. "If you refuse to play by the rules, CDI detectives will track you down and help bring you to justice."
In January 2009, the Department of Insurance received a referral from the State Compensation Insurance Fund alleging that that Steven Antu and Pete Albano, owners of United Security Agency (doing business as Patriot Protection Service), underreported their workers' compensation payroll on their quarterly payroll reports from 2005 through 2007. SCIF alleged that the company misrepresented the amount of payroll purposely, in an attempt to reduce the cost of their insurance premiums. The estimated loss to SCIF is approximately $186,000 over the three year period.
Based on evidence obtained from the CDI investigation, warrants were issued for both Antu's and Albano's arrests on September 17, 2009. The men surrendered to authorities on September 24, 2009.
This case is being prosecuted by the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.
Commissioner Poizner oversees sixteen CDI Enforcement Branch regional offices throughout the state. Close to 1900 insurance fraud-related arrests have been made by the Department of Insurance's enforcement division since Commissioner Poizner took office in 2007 - more arrests than have been made during any other two year period, under any previous insurance commissioner.
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