Local business owner, Joann Wildeson, of Horst & Sons Trucking Company in Waynesboro, PA, was fined and must pay restitution charges of over $54,000 for failing to pay workers’ compensation insurance premiums.

Wildeson was sentenced to three years of probation for the felony charge with $450 in fines. She must undergo DNA testing and is not allowed to carry firearms. For the misdemeanor charge, she was sentenced to one year of probation, to be served after the previous charge.

For both sentences, Wildeson must pay restitution of $54,067.85 to the U.S. Postal Service, based on payments Horst & Sons received to cover workers’ compensation premiums.

According to the police affidavit, the company had been operating under a contract with the U.S. Postal Service. Horst & Sons had received government funds of $54,067.85 that was intended for maintaining workers’ compensation insurance. Investigators allege company officials diverted those funds for other uses.

Workers’ compensation premiums are much like auto insurance premiums in that they are paid to provide coverage for work-related injuries. The fraud here came from that fact the company received funds from the US Postal Service for the acquisition of workers’ compensation insurance, yet, the employer in this incidence never paid the premiums.

So what happens when an employee is hurt on the job and the employer does not have workers’ compensation coverage? A claim must be made tot he Pennsylvania Uninsured Fund. The Uninsured Funds steps in and acts like the insurance carrier in your case. If benefits are awarded, they are paid out of the uninsured fund. The uninsured fund then seeks reimbursement and restitution from the uninsured employer, plus passes it along for prosecution for failure to provide workers’ compensation insurance.