Garden City Man Swindles $235K From Insurance Company, DA Says

An employer from Long Island has been arraigned after he allegedly defrauded an insurance company out of hundreds of thousands of dollars by lying about the number of employees he had, authorities said.



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Sixty-year-old Vassilios Handakas, also known as William or Bill Handakas, faced the charges against him on Thursday, March 28, according to the Nassau County District Attorney.

The DA’s Office said that Handakas and Vector Structural Corporation entered a contract for a worker’s compensation policy with an insurance company for coverage between March 2019 and March 2020.

In the application, the company reportedly stated that it employed two masons with an annual payroll of $50,000 a year.

However, in records that Handakas and the company filed with the state, it was discovered that Vector had actually employed 13 people during that period, with a payroll of $625,466, according to officials.

This underreporting led to an underpayment in insurance premiums totaling $197,623.

In March 2020, Handakas and Vector supposedly repeated their scheme with a different insurance company. This time, they reported a $20,000 payroll when state records listed the actual payroll at $106,452, resulting in a loss of $38,892 to the second insurance carrier.

Handakas' alleged scheme defrauded the two insurance carriers out of a total of $236,515. 

“Employers must provide workers’ compensation insurance for all employees on payroll,” said New York State Inspector General Lucy Lang.

“Failure to do so imperils a critical safety net that so many hardworking New Yorkers and their families need and deserve.”

Handakas surrendered to the Nassau County District Attorney on Thursday, March 28, where he was charged with the following:

  • Insurance fraud, second- and third-degree; and
  • Workers’ Compensation Law 52(1)a & 52(1)d Effect of Failure to Secure Compensation

He is due back in court on Thursday, April 10, where, if convicted, he faces a potential maximum sentence of five to 15 years behind bars. 

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