United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner
Eastern District of California
Former El Dorado Hills Man Arraigned for Mail Fraud and Money Laundering Charges
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Docket #: 2:11-CR-0084 GEB
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Gregory J. Chmielewski, 43, formerly of El Dorado Hills, is scheduled to be arraigned today for 24-counts of mail fraud and money laundering, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced. The indictment, from February 17, 2011, was sealed until Chmielewski’s arrest in Arizona on October 24, 2012.
According to the indictment, Chmielewski set up a professional employer organization called Independent Management Resources (IMR). He solicited Indian tribes to partner with him and provide employee insurance coverage and other employee services at a reduced cost, using the tribes’ sovereign-nation status. Chmielewski marketed the “Tribal” insurance coverage to California employers with high workers’ compensation liabilities, claiming that it provided significant savings over traditional workers’ compensation coverage. According to the indictment, after getting clients, Chmielewski then began diverting and misappropriating millions of dollars from IMR accounts for his personal use.
This case is the product of an investigation by the United States Postal Inspection Service, the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, and the California Department of Insurance. Assistant United States Attorneys Lee S. Bickley and Todd Leras are prosecuting the case.
“Preying on California employers while profiteering on the reputation of a Tribal nation to commit insurance fraud is deplorable,” said California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. “This joint investigation and pending prosecution of Gregory Chmielewski sends a clear message that defrauding Californians for personal gain will not be tolerated.”
If convicted, Chmielewski faces a maximum statutory penalty for each count of mail fraud of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine or up to twice the gain or loss from the offense. The maximum penalty for money laundering is 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine or up to twice the gain or loss from the offense. The actual sentence, if convicted, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.
The charges are only allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.