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Walnut Creek: Three charged with fraud in workers' compensation scheme

The former owners of two Bay Area painting companies were arraigned last Monday in an Oakland court on fraud charges filed by the Alameda County District Attorney's Office and the California Department of Insurance.

(Stock image)

Three Bay Area men -- Eric Andrew Oller, Brian Christopher Mitchell and Yama Sekander -- were charged with being involved in a workers' compensation scheme that defrauded insurance carriers of more than $5 million since 2015, according to a joint news release from the prosecutors.

Oller and Mitchell, the former owners of Walnut Creek-based Signature Painting and Construction, Inc., were each charged with one felony count of conspiracy to commit a crime, six counts each of felony insurance fraud and two counts of workers' compensation fraud.

Sekander, owner of A-1 World Class Painting, was also charged with one count of felony workers' compensation fraud.

A key element of the fraud, according to prosecutors, involved the defendants using Valhalla Consulting -- owned by Oller -- as a shell company to pay painting company employees, illegally reducing the workers' compensation insurance premium.

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One insurance carrier suffered lost premium payments totaling $3.1 million and another lost about $1.9 million, prosecutors said.

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Walnut Creek: Three charged with fraud in workers' compensation scheme

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Uploaded: Sun, Sep 26, 2021, 12:26 pm

The former owners of two Bay Area painting companies were arraigned last Monday in an Oakland court on fraud charges filed by the Alameda County District Attorney's Office and the California Department of Insurance.

Three Bay Area men -- Eric Andrew Oller, Brian Christopher Mitchell and Yama Sekander -- were charged with being involved in a workers' compensation scheme that defrauded insurance carriers of more than $5 million since 2015, according to a joint news release from the prosecutors.

Oller and Mitchell, the former owners of Walnut Creek-based Signature Painting and Construction, Inc., were each charged with one felony count of conspiracy to commit a crime, six counts each of felony insurance fraud and two counts of workers' compensation fraud.

Sekander, owner of A-1 World Class Painting, was also charged with one count of felony workers' compensation fraud.

A key element of the fraud, according to prosecutors, involved the defendants using Valhalla Consulting -- owned by Oller -- as a shell company to pay painting company employees, illegally reducing the workers' compensation insurance premium.

One insurance carrier suffered lost premium payments totaling $3.1 million and another lost about $1.9 million, prosecutors said.

Comments

SF Steve-O
Registered user
Walnut Creek
on Sep 27, 2021 at 10:52 am
SF Steve-O, Walnut Creek
Registered user
on Sep 27, 2021 at 10:52 am

Is this the same Brian Mitchell who is the CEO and co-founder of Shryne Group, the huge California cannabis company that owns Stiiizy? Wasn't he going around to a bunch of cities in the bay area getting dispensary licenses, claiming he was an ethical business person and was going to be a good fit for the communities he was trying to get into? Yikes, guess that was far from the truth if this is the same guy...


Jennifer
Registered user
Danville
on Sep 27, 2021 at 5:25 pm
Jennifer, Danville
Registered user
on Sep 27, 2021 at 5:25 pm

Fraud is one of the reasons insurance is so high. And white collar criminals are treated too lightly. Greed.


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