SACRAMENTO— On October 19, 2020, the California Department of Insurance announced that trucking company owners Hardip Singh, 44, and Amandeep Kaur, 36, were charged with multiple counts of insurance fraud after allegedly misclassifying employees as independent contractors in a scheme to underreport payroll by more than $1.4 million. The alleged underreporting resulted in a $234,000 loss to the State Compensation Insurance Fund (SCIF) and a $220,000 loss to the Employment Development Department (EDD).
Singh and Kaur were doing business as Trust Transport, Inc., a long-haul trucking company based out of their residence in Sacramento and a separate trucking yard in West Sacramento. From February 25, 2014 through October 20, 2016, Trust Transport maintained workers’ compensation insurance coverage with SCIF and reported $105,811 in payroll.
SCIF conducted audits to confirm the payroll and found that several workers were issued 1099s and had been misclassified as independent contractors. Department of Insurance detectives served a search warrant at Trust Transport’s bank for financial records and discovered approximately $1,436,387 in unreported payroll from the misclassified “independent contractors.” The investigation revealed Singh and Kaur fraudulently misclassified these employees in order to avoid paying higher workers’ compensation insurance premiums.
Both Singh and Kaur self-surrendered to the Sacramento County Superior Court in mid-October. The Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office is prosecuting the case.
“This type of fraud often creates a disadvantage for honest business owners who provide proper reporting and payments to SCIF and EDD,” said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona. “The state must hold business owners who cheat, accountable.”