A former El Dorado Hills man was indicted on charges of mail fraud and money laundering and was scheduled to be arraigned in federal court in Sacramento Wednesday morning.
Gregory J. Chmielewski, 43, was indicted on 24 counts of mail fraud and money laundering in Feb. 2011, but the indictment was sealed until his Oct. 24, 2012 arrest in Arizona, a press release stated.
According to the indictment, Chmielewski had set up Independent Management Resources, a professional employer organization. Using the company, he solicited Indian tribes to partner with and provide employee insurance coverage and services at a reduced cost through the tribes’ sovereign-nation status. He then marketed the “Tribal” insurance coverage in California. He claimed that this would result in savings over traditional workers’ compensation programs. But, according to the indictment, Chmielewski allegedly began diverting and misappropriating funds from IMR accounts for his own personal use.
The investigation into the case was done by the U.S. Postal Service, the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation and the California Department of Insurance. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Lee S. Bickley and Todd Leras.
“Preying on California employers while profiteering on the reputation of a Tribal nation to commit insurance fraud is deplorable,” California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones said, according to the press release. “This joint investigation and pending prosecution of Gregory Chmielewski sends a clear message that defrauding Californians for personal gain will not be tolerated.”
If convicted, Chmielewski faces a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine or up to twice the gain or loss from the offense for each count of mail fraud, and 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine or up to twice the gain or loss from the offense for money laundering.