CONCORD, CA — Representatives with two Bay Area construction companies were arraigned in Contra Costa County Superior Court on charges of conspiring to misclassify workers to avoid paying workers’ compensation insurance, payroll taxes and insurance premiums.

Complaints were filed with the court March 8 against 57-year-old Candido Silva, 42-year-old Itamar De Morais Junior, and 42-year-old Irma Ruiz-Alarcon of Atlas Pavers of Concord and 62-year-old Christopher Ray Vieira and 60-year-old Gilbert Roland Guiotti of Centrox Construction of San Bruno.

The first complaint against Silva, De Morais Junior and Ruiz-Alarcon detailed how they unlawfully paid over $12 million from Atlas Pavers to its unlicensed and misclassified construction crews from 2016 through 2019. The complaint also alleges the defendants discussed a desire to avoid insurance with the State Compensation Insurance Fund (“SCIF”) because they knew that SCIF would require an audit of the company’s books, the Contra Costa DA’s office said.

The second complaint charged Vieira and Guiotti with operating San Bruno-based Centrox Construction as a shell company to route unlawful payments to unlicensed subcontractors for Atlas Pavers and others. Both men were charged with the unlawful use of their CSLB license to aid and abet payments from companies advertising to consumers as licensed contractors to their unlicensed and misclassified subcontractor labor crews.

Moreover, the complaint alleges Centrox received a percentage for routing millions of dollars in payroll funds to unlicensed and misclassified subcontractor crews — while fraudulently underreporting the worker’s total compensation amounts to SCIF, the Contra Costa DA’s Office said.

The investigation into Atlas Pavers and Centrox Construction was conducted by the Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office, the Contractors’ State Licensing Board, and the California Department of Insurance.

California law requires contractors to be licensed in their specialized field, obtain workers’ compensation insurance, and pay taxes.

“Prosecuting insurance fraud is about protecting workers, holding those responsible accountable, and stopping unlawful business schemes,” Contra Costa District Attorney Diana Becton said.

To report violations in Contra Costa County, send an email to: [email protected].

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