Construction company owner accused of workers' comp fraud

Andrea Karau, 50, arrested

Jacksonville Sheriff's Office booking photo of Andrea Karau
Jacksonville Sheriff's Office booking photo of Andrea Karau

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A construction company owner was arrested Sunday in a mutlimillion-dollar workers' compensation fraud scheme, according to an arrest warrant.

Andrea Karau, 50, is charged with workers' compensation fraud, money laundering, structuring transactions to evade reporting or registration requirements and organized fraud. 

According to the arrest warrant, Karau, who owns Andies Construction, obtained a workers' compensation policy for $2,200 in 2016, telling Builders Insurance Group her payroll was $20,000.

Investigators said they determined that she wrote 466 checks to employees for $2.3 million, 52 checks to uninsured subcontractors for $246,000 and 98 checks to cash, which count as payroll, for $310,000.

The total payroll was $2.9 million, the warrant states. 

Investigators said they also determined Karau manipulated bank records in an attempt to conceal her true payroll, which was 145 times bigger than she declared to get a workers' compensation policy.