A California business owner was charged with 96 felony counts for denial of workers’ compensation benefits to employees, workers’ compensation fraud, wage theft, failure to pay taxes and perjury.

Bobby Gilbert Jr., owner of B&J Tree Service, was charged on Oct. 6, 2023 following an investigation by the California Department of Insurance.

32 Workers Affected by Owner’s Activity

Investigators found that Gilbert allegedly “took advantage of his workers by denying them what they rightfully earned or were entitled to, for his own enrichment.”

Thirty-two workers were identified who were either denied wages or workers’ compensation benefits they were entitled to from their on-the-job injuries.

Between October 2013 and August 2021, Gilbert and Sanchez conspired together to under report payroll to their insurance carriers by $1.3 million. This resulted in the illegal reduction of workers’ compensation insurance premiums by $248,757.

The underreported payroll also led to an unpaid payroll tax to the state’s Employment Development Department of $140,485.

About the Author

Jon Knight

Jon Knight leads the NASP Team’s media creation department. He has been involved with workplace safety training since 2017 with a focus on course creation. He also provides video production and voiceovers for NASP content.
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