California -- Business Owners Charged with $186,000 Premium Fraud: [09/28/09]
Two California business owners suspected of premium fraud surrendered to
the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Thursday and were being held
Friday on $186,518 bail, the Insurance Department announced.
Steven Antu, 40, and Pete Albano, 51, both of West Covina, were each
charged with three felony counts of premium fraud. If convicted on all
counts, Antu and Albano each face a maximum of 15 years in state prison
and up to $372,000 in fines, the department said.
In January, the Department of Insurance received a referral from the
State Compensation Insurance Fund alleging that Antu and Albano, owners
of United Security Agency (doing business as Patriot Protection
Service), underreported their workers’ compensation payroll on their
quarterly payroll reports from 2005 through 2007. State Fund alleged
that the company misrepresented the amount of payroll purposely, in an
attempt to reduce the cost of their insurance premiums. The estimated
loss to SCIF is approximately $186,000 over the three-year period, the
Based on evidence obtained from the Insurance Department's
investigation, warrants were issued for both Antu’s and Albano’s arrests
on Sept. 17. The case is being prosecuted by the Los Angeles County
District Attorney’s Office.