Feds Are Seeking MEWA Victims

The Federal Bureau of Investigations is looking for employers that purchased alleged workers’ comp “coverage” from the American Labor Alliance or its alter egos. They also want to hear from those who obtained other financial services from the companies such as pension plans, healthcare coverage, tax preparation and drafting of incorporations.

An FBI news release states that “If you believe you/your business may have been a victim of this alleged fraud, please call 1-800-CALL-FBI or send an email to WCVictims@fbi.gov.”

Federal indictments filed last month charge ALA and its two principle operatives – founder Marcus Asay and chief operating officer Antonio Gastelum – with many fraudulent activities. The indictments followed an FBI raid on ALA’s operations and a grand jury investigation. The charges are only pending, and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven otherwise.

American Labor Alliance is also known as Agricultural Contracting Services Association and initially marketed its workers’ comp product as CompOneUSA. But, following a state enforcement action, it shifted business to using the name Omega Community Labor Association and sold the program under the name Compass Pilot, according to the California Department of Insurance.

“It fraudulently marketed itself as a special type of labor organization under federal law and advertised that its customers could join ALA and receive financial services,” according to the FBI. ALA claims to provide ERISA benefits and says that it is an entity claiming exception that is exempt from state regulation. But the United State Department of Labor does not certify them and in fact, wrote a letter so stating.

The FBI is also urging employers that did business with these entities to contact their state insurance department to review the policies they purchased.

For past coverage of this evolving issue click here.