On September 10, Darren Booth entered guilty pleas in Lewis and Clark District Court to charges of employer misconduct for paying his employees under the table.

Montana Deputy Attorney General Jon Bennion describes the charges.

“This employer was paying his employees under the table,” said Bennion. “He wasn’t paying workers compensation premiums or Social Security taxes. A tip was provided and we have investigators who go after workers compensation fraud, so we conducted an investigation. This dates back to 2014 and 2015, and we were able to bring the investigation to a successful conclusion.”

Bennion said the Department of Justice has a team of prosecutors that handle workers compensation fraud cases.

“A lot of people don’t know that we have work-comp prosecutors here in our office that prosecute employer and employee workers compensation fraud,” he said.

Bennion said Booth, who operated a construction company, will pay restitution to the state.

“He is going to have to pay over $10,000 in restitution, which is important for any kind of premiums that he would have had to pay normally,” he said. “There’s also a three year deferred sentence, a fine that was imposed by the court in addition to court supervision for a certain time period. The $10,000 would have gone to the Montana State Fund.”

The Special Investigations Unit at Montana State Fund appreciates and commends the work of Assistant Attorneys General Mary Cochenour and Chris McConnell, and the Division of Criminal Investigation at the Montana Department of Justice.