The general manager and owner of Palm Desert-based United States Pools is facing criminal charges related to his alleged misconduct in losing a half-million dollars at his pool construction and maintenance company.
Michael Gregory Silverberg, 31, of Hemet, is charged with defrauding the California Compensation Insurance Fund, two insurance companies and the state Board of Equalization, according to Riverside County District Attorney's spokesman John Hall.
He was charged Jan. 17 and an arrest warrant issued on charges of embezzlement, failure to collect taxes, making false statements reducing workers' compensation rates, falsifying statements with the intention of evading payments to workers and making false statements as to workers' compensation insurance rates for his company.
Silverberg was arraigned and entered not-guilty pleas to all charges Jan. 25 and ordered to appear for a felony settlement conference Feb. 26 at the Larson Justice Center in Indio, court records indicate.
He was free Friday on bond for $50,000 bail and the warrant has been recalled.
The charges came on the heels of an 11-month investigation by the Inland Empire Premium Fraud Task Force, based on an industry trade organization's complaint.
Prosecutors allege that Silverberg reported his pool cleaning employees as independent contractors in an effort to avoid paying the appropriate payroll taxes and workers’ compensation insurance premiums.
He also allegedly failed to report any of his new pool construction employees on his workers’ compensation policy, Hall wrote in a news release.
The investigation also revealed that Silverberg -- on an account he had with a local pool contractor supplier -- failed to properly report the required sales tax due the state Board of Equalization.
The investigation revealed that because of fraud, the company lost $566,950 to the various victim agencies between Jan. 1, 2007, and March 5, 2012, Hall wrote.