Hialeah businessmen accused of fudging payroll to avoid $350K+ in workers’ comp fees

Francisco and Lester Picado (MDCR)

HIALEAH, Fla. – State workers’ compensation fraud investigators arrested a pair of businessmen Monday, accusing them of significantly understating their drywall company’s payroll figures in order to avoid paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in insurance premiums and fees.

According to arrest reports, Francisco Picado, 46, of Hialeah, and Lester Picado, 44, of Miramar, ran Hialeah-based Superior Drywall. The reports don’t make clear how or if the two are related.

The reports state that the pair had contracted with a third-party company in 2019 to handle payroll and workers’ compensation coverage.

Authorities said the Picados were responsible for reporting accurate payroll figures to that company, but instead fudged the numbers — by a lot.

According to the arrest reports, Superior Drywall reported about $38,000 in payroll, but the real number was nearly 100 times that figure: more than $3.25 million.

Had they reported accurate numbers, authorities said, the Picados would have been on the hook for a nearly $200,000 workers compensation premium and more than $162,000 in administrative fees.

According to the arrest reports, the pair had been cashing millions of dollars worth of checks at a local check cashing store.

Both men face charges of making false or misleading representations to obtain workers’ compensation benefits and first-degree grand theft.

The pair were no longer listed in Miami-Dade jail records as of Monday afternoon.

About the Author:

Chris Gothner joined the Local 10 News team in 2022 as a Digital Journalist.