A retired San Jose Police officer—a Morgan Hill resident with a side security business—was convicted Jan. 14 of $1.13 million in insurance fraud, $18 million in money laundering to cover it up, tax evasion and worker exploitation, according to authorities.
Robert Foster, 48, pleaded no contest to a series of felony fraud charges and will be sentenced to three years in county jail and two years of mandatory supervision, says a press release from Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen’s office. Foster will repay $1.13 million to Everest National Insurance and the Employment Development Department. There will also be a general order of restitution.
“Exploitation takes a massive toll on workers,” Rosen said. “Our office does not tolerate the victimization of workers and will prosecute those responsible—no matter who they are.”
Foster owns Atlas Private Security (now Genesis Private Security) with his wife, Mikaila Foster, 46, who also pleaded no contest to a variety of related fraud charges, the press release says. She will be sentenced to one year in county jail and five years of probation.
The former officer owned the business without the knowledge of the SJPD. Robert Foster will be sentenced on Feb. 25 at 1:30pm in department 26 in the Hall of Justice in San Jose. Mikaila Foster will be sentenced in department 26 on April 29 at 1:30pm.
The DA’s Office spearheaded the six-month investigation in collaboration with the California Department of Insurance, Employment Development Department, Department of Justice and the Department of Labor, authorities said.
The Fosters illegally reduced their insurance premiums and taxes by reporting false and inaccurate payroll, underreporting headcount, paying employees off the books, and underreporting employee injuries, says the DA’s press release. The Fosters failed to pay employees overtime and dissuaded those employees from accurately reporting on-the-job injuries and wage theft violations.
In one instance, an “off the books” security guard suffered severe injuries during a crash while driving an Atlas security vehicle, the press release continues. Robert Foster responded to the guard’s $1 million medical bill by telling the insurance company that the guard was not an Atlas employee. Investigators found records showing that the guard was driving an Atlas vehicle and wearing an Atlas uniform at the time of the collision.
The probe also uncovered that the Fosters allegedly hid millions of dollars of payroll through a complex subcontractor masking scheme. Employees were paid by a different security company, which had no knowledge of the employees’ hours, wages or schedules.
Instead, the other company simply moved money from the Fosters’ firm to the employees so that the Fosters could avoid paying their fair share of taxes, workers’ compensation insurance and overtime wages, authorities said.