June 14, 2012
Westbury Contractor Charged With Operating with Forged Insurance Documents
Lack of insurance left employees with no workers’ compensation coverage in case of injury
MINEOLA, NY – Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice announced today that a Westbury contractor has been charged with forging insurance documents that falsely stated that his business had liability and workers’ compensation coverage.
Michael Ribarich, 41, was arrested this morning by DA Investigators and charged with Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument. He faces up to seven years in prison if convicted and is scheduled to be arraigned later today in First District Court, Hempstead.
Rice said that in May 2010, Ribarich’s company, Advantage Remodeling, Inc., was hired as a subcontractor to perform carpentry work at a Head of the Harbor home in Suffolk County. Ribarich presented the lead contractor, who hired his company, with a falsified Accord certificate that stated that he had workers’ compensation and liability insurance.
A July 2011 premium audit of the lead contractor by the New York State Insurance Fund, and subsequent investigation by the Fund’s Fraud Bureau and the DA’s Office, revealed that Ribarich’s Accord certificate was a forgery and that he has never had an insurance policy with the New York State Insurance Fund. In fact, the policy number that Ribarich used on his forged statement belonged to a painting company whose policy was cancelled in August 2009.
Given the number of employees Ribarich used for the job, the type of work done, and how long the job took to complete, proper insurance coverage would have cost Ribarich’s company approximately $3,500.
“It’s shocking that Mr. Ribarich would put his company, his employees, and the homeowners he works for at such risk for just a few thousand dollars,” Rice said. “It is essential that anyone hiring a contractor does their homework to verify that the contractor is licensed and insured. The risks are too great to cut corners with an unscrupulous company.”
Assistant District Attorney Vickie Curran of the Government & Consumer Frauds Bureau is prosecuting the case for the DA’s Office. Ribarich is represented by the Thomas Liotti, Esq.
The charges are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.