FBI Wants Help in Widening American Labor Alliance Investigation
Tuesday, February 26, 2019 | 0
A California company accused of selling workers' compensation policies without a license may have done business in other states, the FBI said.
In a rare move, the FBI is now urging companies and individuals who may be victims of the American Labor Alliance's alleged fraud to assist in the nationwide investigation, the bureau said in a bulletin.
“We want people to check and see if their policies are valid,” Gina Swankie, public affairs specialist in the FBI field office in Sacramento, said in a local news report. More than 1,000 victims have been identified so far, she said.
The FBI alleges that Clovis, California-based American Labor Alliance sold fraudulent policies. Two of the company’s executives, Marcus Asay, co-founder and the controller of the company, and Antonio Gastelum, the company’s COO, were charged last month with money laundering, mail fraud and conspiracy to commit mail fraud.
A grand jury said Asay, Gastelum and American Labor Alliance, from March 2016 through March 2017, created fraudulent certificates of workers' compensation coverage. ALA collected at least $2.8 million in workers’ compensation premiums as a result of the allegedly fraudulent scheme.
In 2016, the California Department of Insurance issued a cease-and-desist order against the company. Last year, the department ordered the firm to pay a $4.3 million penalty for “selling workers’ compensation and liability policies to employers of farmworkers without being properly licensed."
American Labor Alliance and its affiliated companies, including ALA Trust, the ALA Retirement Plan Trust and ALA Retirement Plan and Trust, allegedly offered workers’ compensation insurance, health insurance and pension services around the country.
Businesses that have dealt with ALA are encouraged to contact the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI or WCVictims@fbi.gov.