November 16, 2023
Tampa, Florida – U.S. District Judge Steven D. Merryday has sentenced Ramon Paz (53, Lakeland) to 33 months in federal prison for conspiracy to commit wire fraud. The court also entered an order of forfeiture in the amount of $500,731, the proceeds of the wire-fraud conspiracy. Paz had pleaded guilty on February 8, 2023.
According to court documents, Paz owned and managed a construction company which purported to supply construction services and labor for construction contractors and subcontractors. In order to comply with Florida law, Paz’s company was required to secure and maintain adequate worker’s compensation insurance coverage. Paz’s company had agreements with contractors and subcontractors to use workers purported to be Paz’s employees at construction sites, and these workers were often undocumented aliens who were actually working for and under the daily supervision and direction of the contractors. Paz or others would then regularly receive “payroll checks” from contractors that were cashed at various financial institutions to pay Paz’s purported “employees” and other related expenses.
During the time period charged, Paz falsely and fraudulently represented in insurance applications that his company had a very limited payroll and a very limited number of employees who worked on construction jobsites. Paz also falsely and fraudulently sent wire communications to numerous contractors representing that his company’s “employees” had full worker’s compensation coverage.