MIAMI – Today, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis announced the arrest of Zaida Lizzeth Ventura, owner of Miami Finish Carpentry Inc., for workers' compensation premium fraud and grand theft for allegedly concealing payroll information to avoid paying more than $365,000 in workers’ compensation premiums.
CFO Jimmy Patronis said, “When workers’ compensation fraud occurs, the result is insurance rates increase across the state, and employees are left unprotected. As CFO, I am committed to holding those accountable who commit these crimes, and I appreciate the hard work of my fraud detectives for conducting a thorough investigation. If you try and withhold workers’ compensation payments, you will be held responsible.”
An investigation was conducted by CFO Patronis’ Division of Investigative & Forensic Services (DIFS), Bureau of Workers' Compensation Fraud and revealed that the owner of Miami Finish Carpentry Inc., Zaida Lizzeth Ventura, actively concealed $1.9 million in payroll to avoid paying a higher workers’ compensation premium. The total payroll of a business is a common variable used by insurance companies in calculating workers' compensation premiums. Ventura's failure to report the additional payroll to his insurance carrier, NorGuard Insurance Company, resulted in their loss of over $365,000.
Zaida Lizzeth Ventura was arrested and booked into the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center in Miami-Dade County. Ventura faces charges of workers’ compensation premium fraud and grand theft. If convicted, Ventura faces up to 30 years in prison. Individuals charged with a crime are presumed innocent until proven guilty.