SAN JOSE- On July 31, 2020, the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office announced charges against a San Jose police officer for allegedly using his private security company to commit insurance fraud, tax evasion, wage theft, and about $18 million in money laundering.
Robert Foster, 47, the Morgan Hill owner of Atlas Private Security, self-surrendered and will be arraigned on November 30th on felony charges. Foster’s wife and eight other company employees are being charged with four counts of felony conspiracy to commit insurance fraud, unemployment insurance fraud, money laundering, wage theft, and 39 additional felonies, including extortion and a white-collar crime enhancement. They face prison time, if convicted.
The officer and his co-defendants allegedly reduced insurance premiums and taxes by reporting false and inaccurate payroll, underreporting headcount, paying employees off-the-books, and underreporting employee injuries. In one case, an employee was allegedly threatened with deportation if she continued to speak with attorneys about her rights under worker’s compensation laws after suffering a workplace injury.
The six-month investigation was spearheaded by the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office Bureau of Investigation in close collaboration with the California Department of Insurance, Employment Development Department, California Department of Justice Bureau of Medical Fraud and Elder Abuse and United States Department of Labor.
“We all suffer when a business owner commits insurance fraud, tax evasion, and wage theft,” said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona. “CSLEA is proud to represent state agents and investigators from the state departments that assisted in this investigation. This type of fraud cheats the state, among others, out of income that benefits the citizens and workers of California.”
The probe showed that Foster allegedly hid approximately $8.09 million in payroll over three years, avoided approximately $578,716.56 in tax liability and $560,293.15 in insurance premiums. To carry on their fraud scheme, the Atlas officials allegedly laundered approximately $18.20 million. Foster allegedly failed to disclose to SJPD that he owned and operated Atlas or that such ownership could result in ethical conflicts.