Southland business owners charged in decade-long
underground economy fraud scheme
Pair faces more than 30 counts of insurance fraud
LOS ANGELES, CA — Brian Scott Krasnoff, 64, of Castaic and Lori Michelle Russum, 52, of Valencia were arrested and charged with more than 30 felonycounts which include conspiracy to commit grand theft, grand theft, forgery, and failure to secure payment of compensation.
“Businesses operating in the underground economy have an unfair and illegal competitive advantage that undermines legitimate businesses and comes at the expense of workers and consumers,” said Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. “When businesses don’t carry insurance they put homeowners and businesses that hire them at great financial risk if someone is injured on the job, leaving the homeowner or business liable.”
Krasnoff worked as a subcontractor for maintenance companies throughout the country for overa decade. Krasnoff, owner and operator of Commercial Window Cleaning Co., allegedly conspired with Russum who owned a typing company to create false certificates of insurance. Krasnoff submitted the false certificates to these maintenance companies tosecure jobs in Southern Californiawhere he performed maintenance services. These businesses believed Krasnoff was insured when in actuality he was not, and paid more than half a million dollars for his services.
“If you’re hiring a professional to work on your home or property it’s not enough to see an insurance certificate, you should always call the insurance company and confirm the policy is active,” Jones added. “Taking this extra step should ensure your assets are protected and you are not liable in the event of an accident or injury.”