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Monday, September 22, 2014

Illinois: Employer Convicted of a Felony for Failure to Have Workers' Compensation Insurance

The Illinois Worker’s Compensation (IWCC), in conjunction with the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office Special Prosecutions Division and the Cook County Sheriff’s Office, has secured the first felony conviction for failure to secure workers’ compensation insurance.
Mr. Ahmed Ghosien, d/b/a Ghosien European Auto Werks, refused to comply with Illinois law despite having been given several opportunities to become compliant.  After aggressive enforcement efforts, on July 25, 2013, Mr. Ghosien entered a guilty plea to the Class 4 felony (People v. Ahmed Ghosien, 12 CR 20949).  This is the first felony conviction against an employer for failure to obtain workers’ compensation insurance since the penalty increase, from a misdemeanor to a Class 4 felony, was introduced in 2005 and remained a critical part of Gov. Quinn’s reforms to the Worker’s Compensation Act in 2011.
“Employers who refuse to obtain workers’ compensation insurance put their employees at risk, gain an unfair advantage over law-abiding competitors, and ultimately shift the cost of their business to Illinois taxpayers,” said Michael P. Latz, Chairman, Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission.  “I commend the diligence of our investigators and this cooperative effort to help protect workers.”
Mr. Ghosien operates a large European auto repair shop at 4001 1/2 Southwest Highway, in Hometown, Illinois.  IWCC...
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