Refusal to pay workers’ comp premiums lands owner of Marion County auto repair business in court

The owner of an auto repair shop in Caledonia (Marion County) has been sentenced for refusing to pay his workers’ comp premiums. Randy Gates, owner of Gator’s Auto Repair and Towing, was sentenced Jan. 21 in the Marion Municipal Court.

BWC’s Employer Fraud Team (EFT) discovered that Gates continued to operate his business without valid BWC coverage after conducting two previous investigations on the same issue. He had been previously prosecuted in 2005 for failure to comply for operating his business without the required BWC coverage.

The EFT attempted to work with Gates to become compliant with state law but he refused to submit completed outstanding payroll reports necessary to calculate accurate premiums owed.  He also failed to take any steps towards paying his outstanding balance.

Gates entered a plea of no contest to a misdemeanor count of failure to comply. He received a suspended sentence of 180 days in jail and was ordered to pay fines and court costs.  BWC is again attempting to work with Gates to submit his outstanding payroll reports so an accurate balance can be calculated.

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