The owner of Miochosis Construction was arrested for illegally avoiding paying more than $700,000 in a workers' comp scam, according to the Department of Financial Services.
Cristina Zelaya allegedly gave false information when applying for workers' compensation insurance coverage to be able to pay a lower premium. By doing so, Zelaya illegally avoided paying more than $700,000 in premium payments and left her employees uninsured.
Through a Department of Financial Services investigation, it was revealed that Zelaya cashed hundreds of payroll checks through local money service businesses totaling more than $5 million. The checks were for construction work that was withheld from her insurance company and were not covered by workers' comp insurance policy.
Zelaya was arrested on December 7.
“Companies that profit by lying to obtain a cheaper workers’ compensation insurance policy is a direct threat to the well-being of Florida workers and property owners,” said CFO Jimmy Patronis. “If an employee was injured under an inadequate policy, either the property owner or the employee could be saddled with paying medical expenses out of their own pocket.”