The owner of a San Jose commercial flooring company was charged this week with fraud for claiming he had only one full-time employee and for failing to pay almost $1 million to the employees he actually had, the Santa Clara County Office of the District Attorney said.
Investigators are still trying to determine the extent of the fraud allegedly committed by 33-year-old Martin Helda, owner of All Bay Area Floors, and are asking employees past and present for assistance.
Helda faces 20 felony counts of Workers Compensation Premium fraud, Employment Development Department fraud and wage theft, the District Attorney said.
Law enforcement officials are searching for other victims and encouraging them to come forward.
"Greedy business owners are banking that cheated employees won't come forward," prosecutor Vonda Tracey said. "These workers did the work. They are owed the pay."
The California Department of Insurance is working with district attorney investigators on the case, which came to light when an insurance audit showed that payroll records did not match the number of people Helda had working for him.
Investigators determined that "Helda withheld at least $900,000 in overtime wages owed to employees known to EDD, but possibly as much as $1.7 million owed to all employees including those not known to EDD."
Many of the workers possibly eligible for compensation cannot be identified because of what investigators described as scant employee records.
Investigators ask anyone who was a worker for Helda at All Bay Area Flooring Company to contact Lt. Michael Whittington at (408) 808-3742 or firstname.lastname@example.org.