A Newport Beach business owner prosecuted for insurance and workers’ compensation fraud and tax evasion finished paying $1.7 million in restitution Friday, so an Orange County Superior Court judge lessened his sentence from five years behind bars to a year in jail, according to his attorney.

Darrin Shawn Wilson, 52, the owner of American Blacktop Inc. and The Mavrick Company, pleaded guilty Thursday to insurance fraud with a sentencing enhancement for aggravated white-collar crime exceeding $500,000.

Wilson also admitted workers’ compensation insurance fraud, failing to collect or account or pay for taxes, and tax evasion, all felonies. In the negotiated plea with prosecutors, 56 other felony counts were dismissed, according to defense attorney Kate Corrigan.

Wilson paid $1.25 million in restitution on Thursday and came into court Friday to pay the remainder, Corrigan said. He will apply for home confinement and also be placed on three years of probation, Corrigan said.

When he was charged, prosecutors alleged the case as a $5.6 million insurance fraud and tax evasion scheme. Wilson was also accused of failing to pay $384,000 in taxes.

The fraud came to light when a worker fell 12 feet from a ladder and attempted to put in a workers’ compensation claim. Wilson claimed the man was employed by a subcontractor that was unlicensed and uninsured.

Corrigan said Wilson has hired new attorneys and an accountant, “and he’s righted his ship, so to speak … He won’t run afoul of these workers’ compensation insurance issues ever again.”

“He’s a guy who obviously messed up, but at the core he’s a good guy,” she said.

–City News Service

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