New York State Inspector General Letizia Tagliafierro today announced the guilty plea of an Erie County roofer who failed to provide legally required workers’ compensation insurance to his employees.
Raymond Book, 41, of Amherst and owner of Veterans Home Improvement and Veterans Roofing, pleaded guilty today in Erie County Court before Hon. M. William Boller to two misdemeanor counts of Failure to Secure Compensation and two counts of misdemeanor Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the 2nd Degree. Book’s plea encompasses conduct in both Erie and Niagara counties. He was sentenced to pay a $10,000 fine plus $500 in surcharges and fees.
New York State Workers’ Compensation Law requires all contractors to carry workers’ compensation insurance for their employees.
An investigation by the New York State Workers’ Compensation Fraud Inspector General found that since at least 2014, Book operated a roofing business in Erie and Niagara counties and employed individuals but failed to provide proper workers’ compensation coverage for his employees. Despite not maintaining legally required coverage for his workers, Book filed multiple Certificates of Attestation of Exemption from coverage (CE-300s) claiming that he was not required to obtain insurance since he had no employees. In fact, Book employed at least eight employees at various times.
“For years, this individual circumvented the requirement to maintain legally required insurance for his business,” said Inspector General Tagliafierro. “Roofing is an inherently dangerous job in which all workers must be protected. That’s why workers’ compensation insurance is mandated for such businesses – to protect the employee, the employer and the client.”
Inspector General Tagliafierro thanked Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn and his office for prosecuting the matter, Niagara County District Attorney Brian Seaman and his office for their cooperation and the local municipalities for their assistance in the investigation.