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Architect Pleads Guilty to Fraud

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

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A 70-year-old California architect has admitted to workers’ compensation fraud, authorities have announced.

An investigation launched in May 2013 found that Robert C. Gunn, owner of Robert C. Gunn Architect, of Pacific Grove, had not purchased workers’ compensation insurance before an employee was injured.

Michael Dorausch / Wikimedia Commons

Robert C. Gunn, 70, allegedly paid for chiropractic services for an injured employee. The image does not depict the parties in this case.

Gunn pleaded guilty to one felony count of failure to register as an employer and one misdemeanor count of failing to secure workers’ compensation insurance, according to a June 5 release by the California Department of Insurance.

Gunn has been placed on probation until his sentencing, scheduled for July 2. The Monterey County District Attorney’s office did not respond Tuesday (June 17) to a request for more information.

"The underground economy is a multibillion-dollar drain on California's economy and hurts law-abiding businesses," said Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones, whose agency participated in the investigation.

"Employers that cheat the system by not providing workers' compensation not only risk employee safety but also contribute to higher costs for businesses and consumers."

Investigation Details

The investigation stemmed from allegations that Gunn had told his employees that he did not have workers’ compensation insurance. If he did, he said, he would take the cost of the insurance out of their paychecks.

Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones
CA Department of Insurance

"Employers that cheat the system by not providing workers' compensation not only risk employee safety but also contribute to higher costs for businesses and consumers," according to Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones.

Authorities said they had interviewed Gunn at a rental property that was being remodeled. There, they found that one of his workers had been injured on the job and that Gunn had paid for chiropractic treatments for the worker.

During the interview, Gunn told investigators he had recently purchased workers’ compensation insurance but had not have it at the time of the worker’s injury, and was then in the process of registering as an employer with the Employment Development Department, prosecutors said.

Gunn has been a registered architect in California since 1976; however, his contractor’s license, issued in 1984, expired in 1999, according to Contractors State License Board records.

The architecture firm does not have a website.The county DA and License Board conducted the investigation with the Department of Insurance.


Tagged categories: Architects; Architecture; Business management; Color + Design; Contractors; Criminal acts; Design; Ethics; Insurance; Laws and litigation

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