“This task force, which is comprised of local and state investigators, works to protect California’s economy as well as workers. When businesses underreport payroll to reduce insurance premiums, they are cheating the fund and working against businesses who operate honestly and lawfully.” – CSLEA President Alan Barcelona
FRESNO— On October 11, 2022, Karamjit Nijjar, 57, his wife Rajinder Kaur Nijjar, 55, and their daughter Mandip Nijjar, 31, were arraigned on four felony counts each for their alleged involvement in a workers’ compensation insurance fraud scheme after allegedly underreporting more than $2.5 million in employee payroll to illegally reduce insurance premiums.
The investigation, led by the Fresno County District Attorney’s Office, began after the California Department of Insurance received a tip that an employee of a Fresno area trucking business owned by Karamjit Nijjar was denied workers’ compensation benefits. Throughout the course of the investigation, investigators with the Central Valley Workers’ Compensation Fraud Task Force identified an additional business related to Nijjar, Renteria Trucking.
According to various business records, Karamjit and Rajinder Nijjar own and operate Renteria Trucking. Their daughter, Mandip Nijjar, is an employee.
The task force investigation into Renteria Trucking revealed the company reported approximately $2,475,000 in employee payroll during their routine payroll audits; however, a forensic audit revealed Renteria Trucking actually had more than $5 million in employee payroll for the same time period.
The amount of unreported payroll identified totaled $2,577,035. The misrepresentations made by the Nijjars resulted in the reduction of workers’ compensation insurance premiums paid, a violation of Insurance Code 11880(a) for each policy period, which resulted in $352,913 in premium owed to the State Compensation Insurance Fund.
The Central Valley Workers’ Compensation Fraud Task Force is an inter-agency anti-fraud partnership with members from the
- California Department of Insurance,
- Fresno County District Attorney’s Office,
- Tulare County District Attorney’s Office,
- Kings County District Attorney’s Office,
- Kern County District Attorney’s Office,
- Merced County District Attorney’s Office,
- Madera County District Attorney’s Office,
- San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office,
- California Employment Development Department,
- California Franchise Tax Board.
Karamjit Nijjar, his wife Rajinder Kaur Nijjar, and Mandip Nijjar pleaded not guilty to the charges and are expected back in court on November 15, 2022. The Fresno County District Attorney’s Office is prosecuting this case.