SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. – An Oak Hills man has been charged with multiple counts of tax evasion, conducting business as an uninsured employer and resisting arrest.
In May 2012, Bhagwant Singh, 42, was the subject of a criminal investigation conducted by the San Bernardino County District Attorney, Workers’ Compensation Insurance Fraud Unit and the California Department of Industrial Relations.
During the course of the investigation, it was revealed that Singh, who is the owner of A&J Shippers, Inc. and Los Angeles Express Trucking Companies in Hesperia had failed to maintain workers’ compensation insurance for his employees. Singh had also failed to pay State-required employee payroll taxes.
In March 2013, criminal charges were filed against Singh for: four felony counts of Tax Evasion; four misdemeanor counts of Doing Business as an Uninsured Employer; three misdemeanor counts of Failure to Observe Stop Order and one misdemeanor count of Resist, Obstruct, Delay of Peace Officer. A felony arrest warrant was issued for Singh’s arrest.
If convicted as charged, Singh faces six years in county prison and $20,000 in fines, as well as restitution for all back unemployment taxes owed.
Later that month, Singh was located in Hesperia by District Attorney Investigators and taken into custody. He was booked into the Victorville Jail Facility, and bail was set at $150,000. Singh is scheduled to be arraigned May 29 at 8 a.m. in Dept. 6, Victorville Superior Court.
This case will be prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney David Simon, Lead Attorney for the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Fraud Unit.
According to DDA Simon, this prosecution is part of a recent push by the unit to crack down on what he describes as the underground economy: businesses operating without the appropriate licenses, no insurance, paying workers in cash, failing to deduct withholding and unemployment taxes, and similar offenses.
“This not only creates an unsafe environment for employees, but it also makes it more difficult for legitimate and licensed businesses to compete,” Simon said.
Click here to download a copy of the complaint.