The president of a West Florida construction company was arrested last week on charges of falsifying payroll information to reduce workers’ compensation premiums paid to Guarantee Insurance Co. and illegally using a “shell company.”
Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater said Friday that Randall Morton Seltzer, 43, the president of Navarre Industries, was charged with workers’ compensation fraud and grand theft, following an investigation by the Department of Financial Services (DFS) Division of Insurance Fraud.
“Workersâ€™ compensation insurance is vital to the health and protection of businesses and Floridaâ€™s economy as a whole,” CFO Atwater said. “Just last week, the Legislature passed reforms that target schemes just like this one that are diverting a billion dollars from Floridaâ€™s economy.”
Investigators said Seltzer systematically underreported his company’s payroll and used Hip Roof & Valley, a shell company he chartered in 2011, to continue operating despite two stop-work orders issued against Navarre Industries during a five-year period.
The Florida Legislature last week passed House Bill 1277, which allows DFS to conduct unannounced inspections of check-cashing houses. Atwater contended construction businesses in Florida are obtaining minimal workers’ compensation coverage through shell companies and laundering their payrolls through check-cashing houses to avoid detection by the DWC.
If convicted, Seltzer faces up to 30 years in state prison and could be ordered to pay more than $2.8 million in restitution.
Source: DFS, WorkCompCentralShare