Background Check

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It is important to be vigilant about background checks when hiring a contractor to perform work on your house or property. (If the contractor is not licensed by the state, consumers can be personally liable for any injuries sustained by uninsured or unlicensed workers.) An article published by The Woodland Daily Democrat tells of a California contractor who committed worker’s compensation fraud by endangering the life of his employee.

The story states that an electrical contractor applied for a permit application stating that he would be working solo on a project. (It is important to note that even though the electrical contractor was licensed by the California Contractors State License Board, he did not carry worker’s compensation insurance coverage for his employees.) He ended up bringing along another employee, whom he claimed was an independent contractor and not an employee, to the customer’s home to assist. (As you might guess, the tagalong contractor was not licensed.)

The assistant proceeded to feed electrical wires from the roof of the house down to the electrical contractor. Because the electrical contractor neglected to cut the power to the house before starting the project, the assistant’s life was put at risk of death by electrocution. (That was certainly a shocking revelation to the homeowner, who could have been liable for any injuries that may have occurred.)

Consequently, the homeowner reported the incident and the 57-year-old electrical contractor was sentenced to three years informal probation as a result. (This guy was lucky he got off so easy and that his employee was not harmed.)

If an unlicensed or uninsured contractor is injured or killed while working on a customer’s roof, the homeowner is personally liable for all of the victim’s medical bills. (Homeowner’s insurance will usually not cover these types of injuries, which can cause a policy holder to lose everything.)

The lesson learned in this case is that when shopping for a contractor, make sure to complete a thorough background check and request proof of licensure and insurance before hiring. (This protects you and your contractor from any harm or injury that may occur.)

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article entitled ”Vacaville Contractor Convicted of Worker’s Comp Fraud” published by The Woodland Daily Democrat on April 25, 2015.

A Vacaville man was sentenced to three years informal probation in Yolo County after he was found guilty of worker’s compensation fraud.

In September of 2014, Gregory Rudolph, a 57-year-old contractor went to the victim’s home to perform electrical work, according to the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office.. Although Rudolph was licensed by the Contractor’s State License Board, he did not have any workers’ compensation insurance coverage for employees.

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Larry Benson
Larry Benson is currently the Director of Strategic Alliances for Revenue Discovery and Recovery at LexisNexis Risk Solutions. In this role, Benson is responsible for developing partnerships for the tax and revenue and child support enforcement verticals. He focuses on embedded companies that have a need for third-party analytics to enhance their current offerings.