DIAMOND BAR — Authorities jailed a Diamond Bar man and seized five area houses from him after he was arrested on suspicion of eight counts of workers’ compensation insurance premium fraud, officials said.
Joseph Baiden, 56, surrendered to investigators Tuesday, California Department of Insurance officials said.
According to sheriff’s booking records, Baiden posted $1 million bail later in the day and was released.
According to CDI officials, Baiden allegedly underreported about $20 million in payroll in order to fraudulently reduce his worker’s compensation insurance payments. The estimated loss to the CDI is $1.4 million.
In a written statement, Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner said said Baiden was apparently using the profits of the fraud to enrich himself.
“It appears that Baiden was living a lavish life-style due to ill-gotten gains,” Poizner said.
Following the investigation, he added, “the walls supporting his fraudulent schemes have come crashing down on him.”
Investigators seized five properties in Diamond Bar and Pomona from Baiden and froze his bank accounts and assets.
A phone number listed in public records as that of Baiden’s most recent home was disconnected Wednesday.
The properties seized were his primary home in Diamond Bar, 2710 Wagon Train Lane, two other homes in Diamond Bar, 2206 Rusty Pump Road and 868 Sunset Place, a vacant residential lot on Derringer Lane in Diamond Bar and a home in Pomona, 19 Pala Mesa Drive, CDI officials said. They are valued at about $4 million.
The investigation as launched after officials received an anonymous tip, CDI officials said.
The alleged fraud occurred between 2001 and 2007, when Baiden was running a Los Angeles-based company called Nurse Connection, Inc., authorities added.
According to the company’s Web site, the business provides nurses and other medical professionals to health care providers.
The Nurse Connection, Inc., Web site also boasts “the industry’s leading benefit package” for it’s employees.
Baiden is due in Los Angeles Superior Court for arraignment on Aug. 28, records show.
If convicted on all charges, authorities said, Baiden faces a maximum sentence of 40 years in state prison and a $3.2 million fine.
*PHOTO of Joseph Baiden courtesy of the California Department of Insurance