Owner of Fresno-based company faces felony charges

Fresno resident is accused of underreporting payroll, changing job description to save on insurance costs

By Mid Valley Times Staff
Published May 18, 2024  • 
9:00 am
handcuffs on the prisoner. Making an arrest. Remand in custody

FRESNO –  The former owner of a Fresno-based trucking company is facing felony charges following an investigation that revealed he underreported over $2 million in payroll to save on workers’ compensation insurance and reclassified the job status of an employee who was found dead in a company truck.

On May 15, Fresno resident Heigo Kubar, 84, was arraigned in Fresno County Superior Court on three counts of workers’ compensation fraud. The Central Valley Workers’ Compensation Fraud Task Force and the Fresno County District Attorney’s Office headed up the investigation into Kubar.

Kubar is the former owner of TKJ Trucking. After a TKJ employee was found dead in a company truck, the company’s insurance company became suspicious and launched its own investigation.

According to a May 15 press release from the California Department of Insurance, the insurance company discovered prior to the death of the employee, Kubar changed the individual’s job description to salesperson. Company records revealed that the deceased had worked as a truck driver for 15 years.

The 51-year-old employee, whose name has not been made public, died on Dec. 26, 2019. The Department of Insurance said his death was due to natural causes.

Workers’ compensation insurance rates vary based on occupation. According to the District Attorney, the cost to insure a salesperson was about $1 for every $100 in payroll. The cost to insure a truck driver was $20 for every $100.

As part of the investigation, the Department of Insurance audited TKJ’s financial data from Dec. 1, 2018 through Dec. 1, 2021. Kubar claimed the company had $875,591 in payroll. The audit revealed the company had a payroll of $3,233,899. Workers’ compensation insurance premiums are tied to payroll. Because Kubar underreported payroll by $2,358,307, TKJ owed over $480,000 in premiums to the insurance company.

Kubar did not enter a plea during his first appearance in court. His next scheduled court appearance is Aug. 14, 2024.

Mid Valley Times Staff