|Written by Mark Lineberger|
|Wednesday, 03 November 2010 00:00|
A Camp Verde man was recently sentenced to serve a year in jail for his role in defrauding the state of Arizona’s workers’ compensation fund.
Damian Andre, 36, was sentenced Oct. 21 in Maricopa County Superior Court by Judge Daniel Martin, said Mika Marquart, a spokeswoman for the Arizona Attorney General’s Office.
Martin ordered that Andre spend a year in the county jail after he pleaded guilty to underpaying the state’s compensation fund by nearly $72,500.
At least 27 small businesses were affected, according to court records.
Andre, a certified public accountant by trade, formerly served as president of Arizona Payroll Systems, a company which handled payroll for dozens of businesses in the Verde Valley and Sedona.
An investigation by the Arizona Department of Insurance Fraud uncovered that between 2005 and 2007, Andre collected workers’ compensation money from small businesses, but falsified his reports to the state about the hours, wages and type of work performed. The false reporting resulted in the state fund being underpaid by $72,453.
Martin also ordered Andre to five years probation for a felony charge of fraudulent schemes and artifices and three years of probation for the felony charge of misrepresentation affecting premiums for workers’ compensation insurance. Andre also has to pay back the money along with a $9,000 fine.
Andre was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Beverly Rudnick.
Marquart said this sentencing was separate from one handed down to Andre in August, when Andre pleaded no contest to multiple felonies, including misappropriating more than $100,000.
“The two cases are still related,” Marquart said. “This sentencing was the result of the workers’ compensation fraud. That’s the only part of the case the Attorney General’s Office handled.”
The earlier case saw Marquart sentenced to a year in the Yavapai County Detention Center in Camp Verde, along with paying more than $280,000 in restitution.
That conviction came after a yearlong investigation by the Cottonwood Police Department.
Reports were circulating that Andre gave some of the stolen money to charitable groups and other organizations throughout the Verde Valley, but details were unable to be verified by press time.
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