Cbs12.com, Lenny Cohen, December 4, 2022
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. (CBS12) — The owner of a maintenance company is facing criminal charges after the state said he wasn't carrying the required workers compensation insurance.
Not only that, the company had contracts with three area municipalities and the investigator said the owner sent each of them falsified proof of coverage.
The tip was self-generated by the Florida Department of Financial Services and covers the period from Aug. 18, 2020, through Dec. 31, 2021.
Total Maintenance had workers compensation coverage until 2018.
According to the Bureau of Insurance Fraud, “A search of the Coverage and Compliance Automated System (“CCAS”) to verify workers compensation insurance showed Total Maintenance had workers compensation coverage until 2018. The last policy shown for Total Maintenance was through Associated Industries Insurance Company, which expired July 27, 2018. It also showed [Edward] Galbraith had a workers compensation exemption which was applied for in 1995. The records from CCAS indicated Galbraith's workers compensation exemption had no expiration date.”
The state found Galbraith was using a money service business in Jupiter to cash business-to-business checks for Total Maintenance.
“...including approximately $669,092 in 2021 from the city of West Palm Beach
The investigator wrote, “These records showed from January 2021 to May 2022, Galbraith cashed over $1 million in business-to-business checks issued to Total Maintenance at this location, including approximately $669,092 in 2021 from the city of West Palm Beach, approximately $2,101 from the city of Palm Beach Gardens, and approximately $16,626 from the town of Palm Beach. It should be noted, from January 2021 to June 2022, Galbraith reported approximately $887,429 in payroll through Paymaster.”
He went to the West Palm Beach clerk's office “for information and documents pertaining to the business relationship between WPB and Total Maintenance.”
“I observed multiple indications the COIs were possibly fictitious.
A contract from 2014 turned up, along with certificates of insurance, or COIs. The investigator was shown two and wrote, "I observed multiple indications the COIs were possibly fictitious. The first COI, dated 08/18/20, had text in a different font size and color from the other text on the certificate. It showed effective dates of 10/31/20 to 10/31/21.
“The second certificate of insurance, dated 09/09/21, had the same font and color discrepancies, listed the same workers compensation policy number and insurance company, and showed the policy to be effective 09/09/21 through 10/31/22.
“I am aware that workers compensation policies are only effective for one year.
“Through my professional training and experience, I am aware that workers compensation policies are only effective for one year. Policy numbers for workers compensation coverage change each policy period, as well.”
News article: https://cbs12.com/news/local/state-edward-galbraith-owner-total-maintenance-workers-compensation-insurance-coverage-proof-insurance-west-palm-beach-gardens-florida-department-financial-services-bureau-fraud