TRENTON – Acting Attorney General John Hoffman and Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Ronald Chillemi announced that the husband and wife owners of temporary staffing companies with offices in northern and central New Jersey were arrested yesterday on first-degree charges.
The couple and a co-defendant allegedly grossly underreported the number of employees their companies outsourced, and hid more than $30 million of income, which resulted in the underpayment of their workers’ compensation insurance premiums and income tax from 2009 through 2013.
Milltown residents Andres Minaya, 48, and Jenny Minaya, 29, owners of temporary staffing companies doing business as Olympus Management Services, Atlantis Personnel and other names, were arrested yesterday. Andres was apprehended in Milltown and Jenny in South River. Both are being held on bail and are lodged in the Middlesex County jail. Search warrants were executed at five Olympus locations and at the office of AM Professional Services, a tax preparation company allegedly owned by the Minayas.
Authorities seized various financial documents and electronic devices related to alleged crimes and the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor has frozen both the personal and corporate bank accounts controlled by the couple. In addition, the couples’ $1.5 million residence is being seized because it was allegedly purchased with illicit funds.
“The defendants had a legal responsibility to provide adequate and lawful workers’ compensation coverage for employees,” said Hoffman. “Not only did they allegedly steal millions from the United States and New Jersey taxpayers, they failed to pay for the appropriate protections for their employees.”
“The most elaborate corporate shell game can still boil down to a simple case of fraud by people who are too greedy to pay their bills and taxes,” said Chillemi.
The Minayas were each charged with first-degree financial facilitation of criminal activity. Andres Minaya was also charged with second-degree insurance fraud and filing a false return.
Authorities also arrested the Minayas’ nephew, Randy Colon, 34, of Somerset, who is purported to have purchased Olympus Management from Andres Minaya, allegedly in furtherance of the workers’ compensation insurance fraud scheme. Colon was arrested in New Brunswick and charged with second-degree insurance fraud.
The six search warrant locations were: Olympus Management Services, 1167 Dickinson St., Elizabeth; Olympus Management Services, 330 Livingston Ave., Suite 3B, New Brunswick; AM Professional Services, 353 Livingston Ave., Basement Level, New Brunswick; Olympus Management Services, 121 Jersey Ave., Second Floor, New Brunswick; Olympus Management Services, 258 Lakeview Ave., Clifton; Olympus Management Services, 177 South Centre St., Suite B, Merchantville.
The investigation began when the case was referred to OIFP by Liberty Mutual Insurance Company, which conducted an audit of Andres’ staffing company — then called Atlantis Personnel — which carried workers compensation coverage through Liberty from May 2011 through February of 2013.
During the audit, Liberty allegedly found gross misrepresentations by Andres concerning the number of employees Atlantis outsourced and total employee salaries. Andres supplied federal tax returns and partial bank statements which were allegedly inconsistent with the amount of business he claimed he did in New Jersey.
After the audit, Liberty adjusted the premium owed by Minaya by approximately $1 million. Minaya allegedly did not pay and instead canceled the policy and created a new company under the Olympus name. The OIFP and the New Jersey Department of the Treasury, Office of Criminal Investigation opened a joint investigation ultimately resulting in the searches and arrests.
OIFP estimates that Olympus is currently employing as many as 800 employees at several hundred businesses in New Jersey. Customers of temp agencies rely on the staffing companies to complete required checks, such as authorization to work and background checks. Temp agencies are also are responsible for providing benefits, making deductions, and carrying the required insurance benefits, such as workers compensation insurance.
It is alleged that from 2009 to 2013, Minaya and his companies received approximately $50 million from a factoring company in exchange for their accounts receivable. In that corresponding period, Minaya and his associated companies reported approximately $15 million total personal and corporate income.
Factoring is a financial transaction in which a business sells accounts receivable to a third-party at a discount. The benefit to the business is that it receives immediate payment to meet current financial needs; the benefit to the factoring company is that the discount is sometimes as much as 10 percent of the value of accounts receivable.
First-degree crimes carry state prison sentences of up to 20 years in prison and a criminal fine of up to $200,000, while second-degree crimes carry prison sentences of up to 10 years in prison and a $150,000 fine. The charges announced are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
Chillemi noted that some important cases have started with anonymous tips. People who are concerned about insurance cheating and have information about a fraud can report it anonymously by calling the toll‑free hotline at 877‑55‑FRAUD, or visiting the website at www.njinsurancefraud.org. State regulations permit a reward to be paid to an eligible person who provides information that leads to an arrest, prosecution and conviction for insurance fraud.