San Francisco, CA – San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins recently announced that Gina Gregori and her corporations were convicted of felony workers compensation premium fraud (IC §11880(a) and IC §11760(a)). Gregori was sentenced to a six-year split sentence, and she and her corporations, GMG, Firenze, and Billings DBA Apex, were ordered to pay a combined $8,382,788.45 to the State Compensation Insurance Fund and a private global insurance and reinsurance company.
“Exposing Gregori’s crimes and holding her accountable is critical to protecting workers and law-abiding businesses,” said District Attorney Brooke Jenkins. “Gregori’s multi-year fraud exploited our system; unfairly inflating costs to insurers, residents and taxpayers at a time when many are trying to stay afloat as we continue to grapple with the economic impacts of the pandemic. Our office will hold individuals and organizations who lie and engage in fraud accountable.”
Over a six-year-period, Ms. Gregori, and her companies, which had contracts throughout California, grossly underreported payroll to the State Compensation Insurance Fund, and over the course of an additional year, to another private insurance and reinsurance company. She submitted falsified Employment Development Department documents and claimed far lower numbers of employees and wages paid than were stated in the records she filed. She maintained two separate ledgers for payroll, each with a different set of numerical data. On several occasions, she changed the company name and registration with the Secretary of State, substituted a family member for herself as the listed owner, and opened new company bank accounts, making hers appear to be a newly established company to obtain lower premiums.
The case against Ms. Gregori and the companies was successfully prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Alex Feigen Fasteau with the assistance of Paralegal Reg Clay. Prosecutors were able to develop a strong case based on the careful investigative work of the California Department of Insurance Fraud Investigators and District Attorney Investigations Lieutenant Molly Braun. This case involved the execution of three search warrants, the search of nine locations, and the seizure of more than two terabytes of evidence.
“Fraud schemes, like those in this case, are often complex, involving creative accounting by company owners, to reduce the amount they owe in workers compensation premiums,” said Assistant District Attorney Alex Feigen Fasteau. “This kind of fraud undermines protections for honest workers and increases premiums for honest businesses, making it more difficult for them to survive.”
In the prosecution of this case Assistant District Attorney Alex Feigen Fasteau secured numerous court orders freezing the assets of Ms. Gregori and the janitorial companies and placing them in a Receivership, so the employees, the majority of whom were undocumented, could continue to work and get paid. While the Receiver did not run the janitorial businesses, the Receiver ensured that Ms. Gregori did not continue to siphon money away so that if money was left over after the employees were paid, it could go toward victim restitution. Ms. Gregori was taken into custody March 2, to begin serving her sentence.
Source: San Franciso, DA