Florida Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis says Jeovane Felizardo, owner of JJF Construction Services, LLC in Jacksonville has been arrested after a workers’ compensation fraud investigation revealed that he allegedly used various local money service businesses to cash checks in an alleged attempt to illegally conceal his total payroll from his workers’ compensation insurance provider to avoid higher premium costs.
Investigators discovered that Felizardo provided false payroll totals to his workers’ compensation provider and misrepresented his employee’s class codes, a CFO news release said.
Felizardo reported his total payroll to be $76,799 when signing up for his policy. Based on the declared payroll amount and the reported employee class codes, Felizardo’s insurance company determined the premium for his workers’ compensation policy to be $24,894, the CFO asserted.
After further investigation by the Bureau of Insurance Fraud, investigators found that Felizardo cashed a minimum of 540 checks from April 16, 2016 to April 16, 2017 all issued by contractors doing business with JJF Construction Services totaling $5,929,534. The contractors confirmed that the checks issued were only to cover labor costs and not any material costs associated.
Felizardo’s failure to accurately report payroll and class codes to his insurer resulted in a gross underpayment of insurance premiums. Had the actual amount of Felizardo’s payroll and proper class codes been reported to his worker’s compensation provider the resulting premium rate would have been $1,841,137, a difference of $1,816,243.
Felizardo was arrested Jan. 12, 2018 at his place of residence and transported to the Duval County Jail without incident. He has been charged with workers compensation fraud and scheme to defraud. Jail records indicate he was released on $100,000 bond.
Records at the Florida Division of Corporations indicate that JJF Construction Services LLC was administratively dissolved on on Sept 22 for failing to file an annual report. Felizardo is listed as the company’s registered agent, at 7035 Philips Hwy. Suite 37, Jacksonville.
This case will be prosecuted by Joe Licandro of the Fourth Judicial Circuit State Attorney’s Office. If convicted, Felizardo could face up to 60 years in prison.