An unlicensed New York employment broker pleaded guilty Wednesday to two felony counts of insurance fraud and fraudulent practices in connection with a scheme to avoid paying workers’ compensation insurance premiums.
Salvador Almonte Jr. engaged in what prosecutors called an “extensive insurance fraud scheme” that resulted in the evasion of more than $1 million in premiums and left more than a hundred construction workers underinsured.
Mr. Almonte, who will have to pay $500,000 in restitution as part of the guilty plea, is scheduled to be sentenced in May.
According to authorities, Almonte admitted to operating the scheme between January 2015 and late 2018, during which time he made false representations to insurance companies, including the New York State Insurance Fund, to secure workers’ compensation coverage at reduced rates.
Almonte told insurance companies that his workers were performing tasks such as cleaning or interior carpentry when in reality they were engaged in construction projects for high-rise superstructures, according to prosecutors.
He also refused to cooperate with the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board after injured workers filed compensation claims, prosecutors said.