On April 28th, 2015

Vacaville Contractor Convicted of Workers’ Comp Fraud

csleaWOODLAND -  April 21, 2015, Gregory Rudolph, 57, of Vacaville was convicted of Workers’ Compensation Fraud and sentenced to three years informal probation.

In September of 2014, Rudolph went to a client's home to perform electrical work. Although Rudolph was licensed by the Contractors State License Board (CSLB) , he did not have any workers’ compensation insurance coverage for employees. On his permit application, Rudolph stated that he would not have any employees working with him on the project, however he brought an employee to the home to assist him. Although Rudolph claimed the individual was an independent contractor, he treated him as an employee by assigning him work, providing the necessary tools, and paying him a wage set by Rudolph.

According to the Yolo County District Attorney's Office, these facts, combined with the fact that the employee was not a licensed contractor himself, made the individual an actual employee instead of an independent contractor.   Making the situation worse, Rudolph had the unskilled employee work from the roof of the house and feed wires down to him. Rudolph neglected to cut electricity to those wires, placing the employee at risk of death by electrocution, according to the District Attorney.

 “If the employee was injured or killed while working on the citizen’s roof, the homeowners would have been personally liable for all of his medical bills. Most homeowner’s insurance will not cover these types of injuries, resulting in the homeowner owing hundreds of thousands of dollars and potentially losing their home and life savings.  It is vital that consumers ensure the contractors they hire are licensed by the Contractors State License Board and have proper workers’ compensation insurance for their employees,” said Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig.

This case originated from the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office Information and Resource Sharing (DAIRS) group. DAIRS includes representatives from the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR), the Contractors State License Board as well as local building and code inspectors. DAIRS members share resources in an effort to better protect Yolo County citizens from unscrupulous contractors and other service providers. Investigations conducted by multiple agencies in the fight against fraud allows the District Attorney’s Office to assist citizens who are being victimized by unlicensed and uninsured employers.

"Our investigator members with CSLB and DIR work year-round to protect consumers and protect workers," said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona.  "Consumers should always check the CSLB website to determine if the person they are hiring is a licensed contractor with workers' comp insurance.  Hiring a non-licensed contractor is not a risk worth taking."

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