December 4, 2023

San Francisco construction firms charged by D.A. for alleged insurance fraud scheme

The homeowners and an worker at a San Francisco plastering enterprise and its sister building…

The homeowners and an worker at a San Francisco plastering enterprise and its sister building firm had been billed with several felonies for allegedly engaging in a several years-very long tax and insurance coverage fraud scheme, District Legal professional Brooke Jenkins declared.

Denis Cullinane, operator of Cullinane Plastering, and his brother Jeremiah Cullinane, owner of Cullinane Development, together with business office administrator Gemma Maher, were accused of concealing $5.8 million in unreported payroll in purchase to steer clear of paying taxes and insurance rates.

According to a push launch from the District Attorney’s Office environment, the Cullinane brothers are both of those at large and have warrants exceptional from them although their enterprise property have been frozen. Maher, who has equally Irish and U.S. passports, was arraigned before this 7 days and was purchased by the judge not to go away the condition of California. Some of her identified assets had been frozen by courtroom order.

All 3 defendants are San Francisco people. If they have been convicted, sentencing tips recommend a point out jail time period of up to 16 decades for Jerry Cullinane and Maher, and 15 yrs for Denis Cullinane.

“These inexcusable crimes victimize hard-functioning workers making an attempt to earn a dwelling and cheated taxpayers out of hundreds of thousands in community assets,” reported Jenkins in a statement. “Holding Cullinane accountable for these crimes is vital to making sure that staff are protected, and the process is not exploited with inflated and unfair expenditures to insurers, buyers, organizations and taxpayers.”

Cullinane Design and Cullinane Plastering are listed with addresses on the 1800 block of Mission Road and the 100 block of Beulah Avenue. Phone calls to the place of work searching for remark on the prices in opposition to them ended up not returned in timely trend.

According to the complaint, the alleged fraud surfaced following a Cullinane Plastering worker was significantly injured while doing work at a job website in May well, 2019.

The personnel was working as a carpenter when a stage — a instrument to ascertain straightness — fell on him from a increased story, in accordance to the District Attorney’s Place of work. He endured a spinal injuries and misplaced emotion in his legs. Co-staff served him to his auto exactly where he remained right up until the thoughts in his legs arrived back again.

The Cullinanes allegedly hid the personal injury from their insurance coverage provider, State Payment Insurance plan Fund, for extra than a calendar year. When Maher at last disclosed to the state insurance coverage fund the place of work personal injury 1 12 months afterwards, she allegedly misrepresented the employee’s perform background and downplayed the injury in buy to shield her employer from incurring damages, allegedly furthering the fraud.

The ensuing investigation disclosed that the workplace injuries experienced been allegedly hid in violation of California regulation. In addition, the investigation showed that Cullinane Plastering and Cullinane Development allegedly submitted fraudulent payroll details to each the state insurance coverage fund from 2018 to 2020 and the Employment Enhancement Division from 2017 to 2020.

Due to the fact of the underreporting, the point out insurance fund shed an approximated $270,000 in charges and EDD $300,000, in addition $1.5 million in penalties.

This fraudulent facts allegedly lowered payroll tax contributions and staff payment contributions. The defendants’ belongings have been frozen less than a previous court purchase to reduce them from liquidating assets and to safeguard cash for restitution to the victims.

“Our workplace will keep people today and companies who lie and engage in fraud accountable,” Jenkins claimed.

Sam Whiting is a San Francisco Chronicle personnel writer. E-mail: [email protected] Twitter: @samwhitingsf