The owners of a Long Beach-based trucking company have been charged with workers’ compensation fraud for allegedly underreporting payroll by $4.7 million over a four-year period, the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office announced last week.
Owners Alvin Shih Chen, 55, and Fiona Chen, 46, were charged with 18 counts of workers’ compensation fraud and five counts of failing to pay taxes, according to the district attorney. If convicted as charged, both defendants face up to 36 months in prison. Prosecutors are recommending bail is set at $950,000.
Specifically, the Chens are accused of reporting nearly $3 million to the State Compensation Insurance Fund between 2009 and 2013 for their business, Metro Worldwide. The actual amount was $7.6 million.
When payroll is underreported, companies pay reduced workers’ compensation premiums, according to the District Attorney’s office.
The California Department of Insurance will continue its investigation of the case.
Deputy District Attorney Angela Brunson of the Healthcare Fraud Division is prosecuting the case, according to the release.