Was a Mission Viejo roofer cooking the books? Investigators think so.
Ernesto Enriquez, 45, is charged with underreporting the payroll of his roofing company, Best Value Roofing, in order to "cheat the system and pay lower insurance rates." Doing so cost the state Employment Development Department over half a million dollars, according to a statement from the Orange County District Attorney's Office.
Enriquez, his wife, his brother and his bookkeeper are charged with 66 total felonies. The crimes add up to $1.5 million in fraud, which includes penalties and interest, the OCDA said.
The four are scheduled for a continued arraignment Thursday at 9 a.m.
The district attorney says the charges amount to both insurance and tax fraud.
Fraud may have given Best Value a competitive advantage, the OCDA said.
"This practice places their competitors at a disadvantage because it forces them to compete against a company with fraudulently lower operating costs," the OCDA said.
Enriquez faces 46 years in prison if convicted of all charges.
According to their website, Best Value has locations throughout Orange County, including San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano and Laguna Beach.
The felonies also include filing false tax returns. Bookkeeper Sheila Marie DiMauro is accused of fraudulently collecting unemployment while working.