Madera County

Bulldozer Owner Sentenced for Not Having Workers' Comp Insurance

The absence of insurance was not discovered until a bulldozer operator died in 2016.

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A 34-year-old Madera County man has been sentenced to felony probation following his October conviction on charges in connection with the July 2016 death of a bulldozer operator at the Soberanes Fire south of Carmel, prosecutors said.

Ian Nathaniel Czirban was convicted for payroll tax evasion, submitting false documents to Cal Fire and failing to carry workers' compensation insurance. He will serve 300 days in Monterey County Jail, but may serve his sentence via home confinement, according to the Monterey County District Attorney's Office.

Under his contract with Cal Fire, Czirban was paid to provide his bulldozer -- and qualified bulldozer operators -- to assist Cal Fire with firefighting efforts. Between June 2014 and July 2016, Czirban and his bulldozer workers assisted Cal Fire fight 11 wildfires.

But Czirban did not have any workers' compensation insurance, in violation of his Cal Fire contract, prosecutors said. The absence of that insurance was not discovered until the death of bulldozer operator Robert Reagan III in July 2016.

Because Czirban did not have the mandated workers' compensation insurance, financial benefits could not be paid to Reagan's two young children and their mother.

As part of his probation, Czirban will be required to pay restitution to Reagan's family. The amount of restitution will be determined by the court at a restitution hearing next year.

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