PaintSquare.com
      | Connect Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook
About | Subscribe | Advertise
  

 

Download our free eResource: Safety in Coatings Work.

Paint and Coatings Industry News

Main News Page


Construction Owner Admits $450K Theft

Monday, December 10, 2012

More items for Program/Project Management

Comment | More

The former owner of two defunct New Jersey construction companies is facing eight years in prison after admitting to insurance and tax fraud that netted him more than $450,000.

Prosecutors said Herlindo Garcia-Merlos, 49, whose last known address was in Trenton, lied to his workers’ compensation carrier, failed to file five years' worth of tax returns, and underreported his own wages on tax returns.

Garcia-Merlos pleaded guilty Nov. 28 to a criminal accusation charging him with two counts of second-degree theft by deception before Superior Court Judge Gerald Council in Mercer County. 

Herlindo Garcia-Merlos

Herlindo Garcia-Merlos, 49, faces an eight-year prison sentence.

Sentencing is set for Jan. 23. Under the plea agreement, the state will recommend that Garcia-Merlos be sentenced to eight years in state prison. In addition, the state is seeking $315,680 in restitution on behalf of New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Group and $135,462 on behalf of the New Jersey Department of Treasury.

Insurance Fraud

“This defendant was responsible for making sure that he had adequate and lawful workers’ compensation coverage for his companies,” said Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Ronald Chillemi.

“By providing misinformation to his workers’ compensation carrier, he not only failed in this responsibility but also defrauded an insurance company out of hundreds of thousands of dollars. The cost of such fraud is passed on to consumers through increased premiums."

Garcia-Merlos was president of the now-defunct Orients Construction Company Inc., located in Trenton. In March 2009, Garcia-Merlos ceased doing business as Orients and began doing business as Melrose Construction Inc. in Trenton.

In pleading guilty, Garcia-Merlos admitted that, between February 2007 and April 2010, he provided "false and misleading information" to NJM Insurance Group, according to a release from the New Jersey Attorney General's Office.

Ronald Chillemi

Prosecutor Ronald Chillemi said Garcia-Merlos defrauded his insurer out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

"The investigation determined that the type of services rendered by Orients, as well as the amount of payroll during the specified policy periods, were not true," the AG's office said. The fraud allowed Garcia-Merlos to avoid paying $315,680 in insurance premiums.

Tax Dodger

Garcia-Merlos also pleaded guilty to stealing more than $135,462 by failing to file tax returns for his companies.  Authorities said he did not file returns "for Orients and/or Melrose" Construction in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010. During the same years, he underreported his own wages on his individual tax returns, authorities said.

Deputy Attorney General Cheryl Maccaroni and Detective Natalie L. Brotherston coordinated the investigation. 

Chillemi noted that some important insurance fraud cases have started with anonymous tips. Tips may be reported to the state's toll-free hotline at 1-877-55-FRAUD, or visiting www.NJInsurancefraud.org. State regulations allow for payment of a reward to tipsters whose information leads to an arrest, prosecution and conviction for insurance fraud.

   

Tagged categories: Enforcement; Government; Insurance; Laws and litigation; Taxes; Workers

Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.

SAFE Systems, Inc.
Enduroguard -
The Tough Cable
for a Tough Industry.

Reduce maintenance costs and down time, increase job site safety with Enduroguard Cable. Available exclusively from SAFE Systems. UL listed, flexible, abrasion resistant and cut resistant.


Ethox Chemicals LLC
Ethoflex® ER instantly upgrades your epoxy!

The only epoxy additive that improves flexibility, corrosion resistance, toughness, and adhesion, without hurting pot life, cure time, or increasing VOCs.


SSPC: The Society for Protective Coatings
http://www.sspc.org/

Join SSPC and Enhance
Your Career !


PPG Protective and Marine Coatings Group
Industrial strength performance in ONE can.

Now get the durability and protection of two components in one can: Amercoat® ONE, PSX® ONE and Sigmadur ONE.


Armakleen Company, The
ARMEX when nondestructive cleaning is critical

The gentle physical propriety of baking soda but yet aggressive cleaning ability is what makes ARMEX the only choice for nondestructive abrasive blasting.


CS Unitec
Work Cleaner and Safer

CS Unitec’s Vibro-Lo low-vibration scalers offer high performance for greater productivity & improved operator comfort. Optional dust shroud. info@csunitec.com


Elcometer, Inc.
Elcometer 266
DC Holiday Detector

Easily Finds Pinholes, Flaws & Thin Spots; Safer, More Reliable Testing; Voltage-Adjustable Keypad; Dual-Safety Switch On Handle.


HoldTight Solutions Inc.
NO FLASH RUST -
NO CONTAMINANTS

Our HoldTight®102 salt remover & flash rust preventer prevents flash
rust by removing surface contaminants. It has no equal; only wannabees.
Contact us for your
nearest distributor.
(800) 319.8802 sales@holdtight.com


Atlas Material Testing Technology

Helping You Put Your Products To The Test

• Outdoor Accelerated
Weathering
• Laboratory Testing
Services
• Accelerated Weathering
Instruments

www.atlas-mts.com atlas.info@ametek.com


Carboline Company
Hydrocarbon Fire & Jet Fire Protection

Pyroclad X1 is the latest breakthrough in epoxy based intumescent fireproofing technology

 
 
 
Technology Publishing

The Technology Publishing Network

The Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings (JPCL) PaintSquare
Durability + Design Paint BidTracker

 
EXPLORE:      JPCL   |   PaintSquare News   |   Interact   |   Buying Guides   |   Webinars   |   Resources   |   Classifieds
REGISTER AND SUBSCRIBE:      Free PaintSquare Registration   |   Subscribe to JPCL   |   Subscribe to PaintSquare News
MORE:      About PaintSquare.com   |   Privacy policy   |   Terms & conditions   |   Site Map   |   Search   |   Contact Us
 

© Copyright 2000-2015, Technology Publishing / PaintSquare, All rights reserved
2100 Wharton Street, Suite 310, Pittsburgh PA 15203-1951; Tel 1-412-431-8300; Fax 1-412-431-5428; E-mail webmaster@paintsquare.com