SANTA CLARA COUNTY — An arrest came earlier this week concerning the owner of what the District Attorney’s office is calling a “now-defunct landscaping company.”
Deputy District Attorney Vonda Tracey with the Insurance Fraud Unit said, “In fact, Jorge Rojas Sanchez, 49, had numerous paid employees working for Tao Landscaping.” The locally owned San Jose business did not come into question until one of its employees had cut off part of his finger with a saw. The cut was so severe that the employee needed surgery to repair his severed finger.
Once at the hospital, medical staff questioned the employee and found out that he did not have workman’s compensation through his employment with the company. San Jose Police on duty at the hospital were able to take a statement, which led to an investigation into the allegations.
Tracey said, “Sanchez faces up to 5 years incarceration if convicted and will be ordered to pay full restitution.” Sanchez was released on his own recognizance and will be arraigned on April 26.
“Workers’ Compensation Insurance protects all workers, but especially low wage earners who could otherwise not afford medical treatment for on-the-job injuries,” Tracey said. “It also provides a safety net in the form of partial income while they are unable to work.”
During the course of a two-year investigation after the 2015 accident, it was soon discovered that Sanchez obtained Worker’s Compensation Insurance under false pretenses in 2012. The insurance estimates the loss in premiums totaled more than $30,000.
To protect workers, California law requires all businesses with employees to maintain Workers’ Compensation Insurance. The insurance premium is based on the nature of the business, safety record, and the employees’ wages or payroll as reported by the employer. To report Workers’ Compensation Insurance Fraud, call the Santa Clara County Workers’ Compensation Insurance Fraud Hotline at (408) 792-2466.