Paso Robles business owner accused of workers' comp fraud

A Paso Robles business owner is facing two felony counts of workers’ compensation insurance fraud after incorrectly reporting his employee payroll to the State Compensation Insurance Fund.

According to a news release from the California Department of Insurance, Scott Silva, 53, of Paso Robles, owner of the Paso Robles-based Drywall Dynamics, was arrested April 30.

Officials said Thursday that the Department of Insurance began an investigation into Silva after the Carpenters/Contractors Cooperation Committee alerted the department’s Fraud Division of improper conduct regarding employee wages. Following the investigation, it was determined that Silva was incorrectly reporting employee payroll, reducing his premium rates and bilking the insurance company out of approximately $67,000.

Once charges were filed by the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office, the district attorney investigator in the case arrested Silva, according to Chief Deputy District Attorney Jerret Gran.

“Premium insurance fraud is not a victimless crime,” Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones said in a written statement. “Actions like Silva’s are what artificially inflate costs to insurers, consumers and California taxpayers. The Department of Insurance is committed to working with other allied agencies to combat the multibillion dollar enterprise that is fraud.”

If convicted, Silva faces a maximum sentence of five years in jail, possible fines and full restitution.

According to the Department of Insurance, Silva’s bail was originally set at $30,000. As of Thursday, he was no longer in custody.

A call for comment to Silva’s business was not immediately returned Thursday afternoon.