Two owners of a Wood County roofing company face up to five years in prison after being found guilty of defrauding the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation by failing to report payroll for four years.
Frederick V. Diebert, 59, and Michelle Scaggs, 38, both of Northwood, face $10,000 in fines when they're sentenced on Sept. 13.
The two own Triple Star Roofing in Northwood. The Bureau of Workers Compensation said the company reported no payroll to the agency from 2004 to 2008 in an attempt to avoid paying workers' compensation premiums.
"For years, Mr. Diebert and Ms. Scaggs claimed their company only used subcontractors and reported they had no payroll, but that simply wasn’t the case," Workers Compensation Administrator Steve Buehrer said in a statement. "Schemes like this to avoid paying premium undermine the purpose of workers’ comp insurance — to protect workers who are injured on the job — and will result in unwanted attention from our investigators.”
Investigators, acting on an anonymous tip, found the company had between 30 and 50 regular employees, though they were classified as subcontractors for tax purposes. An audit showed Triple Star Roofing failed to pay premiums of $283,592.
Both were found guilty in Wood County Common Pleas Court last month of workers' compensation fraud, a third-degree felony. Similar charges are pending for 2008 to 2012.
The company has an "F" rating from the Better Business Bureau of Northwestern Ohio and Southeastern Michigan.