The owner of two shell construction companies in Tampa, Florida, has been sentenced to federal prison for defrauding two insurance companies and the IRS out of $9 million. Gabriela Inamagua, the owner of these companies, was sentenced last week to 12 months and one day in prison by U.S. District Judge Virginia M. Hernandez Covington. This sentence was handed down after Inamagua pleaded guilty on Oct. 4 to charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States and the IRS. The court also ordered her to pay restitution totaling $9 million to the two victim insurance companies and the IRS.
According to a press release by the U.S. Department of Justice, Inamagua’s companies falsely represented themselves as suppliers of construction services and labor for contractors and subcontractors. In order to comply with Florida law, the companies were required to maintain worker’s compensation insurance coverage. However, Inamagua’s scheme involved using agreements with contractors to deploy purported employees – often undocumented migrant workers – to construction sites, who were actually working under the direction of the contractors.
Inamagua or her associates would then receive “payroll checks” from contractors, which they would cash to cover her alleged employees and related expenses. During the relevant period, Inamagua misled insurance companies by falsely reporting limited payroll and a small number of employees on construction sites. However, in reality, the companies received over $34 million in checks from contractors, significantly surpassing the reported payroll and number of employees.
This deceptive scheme ultimately led to Inamagua defrauding two insurance companies and the IRS out of $9 million. The case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation and the U.S. Department of Labor – Office of Inspector General, with assistance from the Florida Department of Financial Services – Division of Insurance Fraud. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jay L. Hoffer.
This is not the first time that fraudulent schemes have been uncovered in the construction industry. In fact, just last month, a Florida woman was sentenced to prison for her role in a $9 million construction employee scheme. The woman, along with her co-conspirators, had used shell companies to defraud insurance companies and the IRS. This case serves as a reminder to always be vigilant and conduct thorough research before engaging in any business transactions.
In a similar case, Malayalam actor Rahul Rajasekharan brought attention to a fraudulent investment scheme that targeted unsuspecting individuals. The scheme promised high returns on investments but ended up scamming people out of their hard-earned money. Rajasekharan, who had fallen victim to the scheme himself, used his platform to raise awareness and warn others about the dangers of such scams.
In another instance, Matt Goodwin, a member of the Conservative Party in the UK, denounced a false claim made by his party regarding an influx of unskilled labor. Goodwin, an expert on immigration and labor markets, pointed out the misleading nature of the claim and urged for more accurate and evidence-based discussions on the issue.
Unfortunately, fraudulent schemes are not limited to the construction and investment industries. In Mumbai, a woman lost Rs 4.56 crore in a cyber scam involving cryptocurrency. The woman had received a call from someone posing as a representative from a cryptocurrency trading platform, who convinced her to invest in a new cryptocurrency. However, the woman soon realized that it was a scam and reported it to the police. This serves as a reminder to always be cautious and do thorough research before investing in any type of cryptocurrency.
In another case, a senior citizen and their offspring fell victim to a deceptive credit card scheme. The scammer had convinced the senior citizen to provide their credit card information, promising them a low-interest rate and other benefits. However, the scammer ended up charging the credit card for unauthorized purchases, leading to a significant financial loss for the family. This case highlights the importance of educating ourselves and our loved ones about common scams and how to protect against them.