Santa Clara, CA – A retired San Jose Police officer with a side security business was recently convicted of $1.13 million in insurance fraud, $18 million in money laundering to cover it up, tax evasion, and worker exploitation.
Robert Foster of Morgan Hill pleaded no contest to a series of felony fraud charges and will be sentenced to three years in county jail and two years of mandatory supervision. Foster will repay $1.13 million to Everest National Insurance and the Employment Development Department. There will also be a general order of restitution.
“Exploitation takes a massive toll on workers,” District Attorney Jeff Rosen said. “Our Office does not tolerate the victimization of workers and will prosecute those responsible – no matter who they are.”
Foster owns Atlas Private Security (now Genesis Private Security) with his wife, Mikaila Foster, who also pleaded no contest to a variety of related fraud charges. She will be sentenced to one year in county jail and five years of probation. The former officer owned the business without the knowledge of the SJPD. Robert Foster will be sentenced on February 25th at 1:30 p.m. in department 26 in the Hall of Justice in San Jose. Mikaila Foster will also be sentenced in department 26 on April 29th at 1:30 p.m.
The six-month investigation was spearheaded by the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office Bureau of Investigation in close collaboration with the California Department of Insurance, Employment Development Department, Department of Justice, and the Department of Labor.
The Fosters illegally reduced their insurance premiums and taxes by reporting false and inaccurate payroll, underreporting headcount, paying employees off-the-books, and underreporting employee injuries. The Fosters failed to pay employees overtime and dissuaded those employees from accurately reporting on-the-job injuries and wage-theft violations.
In one instance, an “off-the-books” security guard suffered severe injuries during a crash while driving an Atlas security vehicle. Robert Foster responded to the guard’s $1 million medical bill by telling the insurance company that the guard was not an Atlas employee. Investigators found records showing that the guard was driving an Atlas vehicle and wearing an Atlas uniform at the time of the collision.
The probe also uncovered that the Fosters allegedly hid millions of dollars of payroll through a complex subcontractor masking scheme. Employees were paid by a different security company, which had no knowledge of the employees’ hours, wages, or schedules. Instead, the other company simply moved money from the Fosters’ firm to the employees so that the Fosters could avoid paying their fair share of taxes, workers’ compensation insurance, and overtime wages.
Source: Santa Clara DA’s Office