Nassau District Attorney Anne T. Donnelly.

Nassau District Attorney Anne T. Donnelly. Credit: Johnny Milano

A Garden City business owner allegedly cheated two insurance companies out of more than $235,000 in premiums by underreporting his company’s payroll and number of employees, Nassau County District Attorney Anne T. Donnelly said in a statement.

Vassilios Handakas, 60, was arraigned before Nassau District Court Judge Jaclene Agazarian March 28 on charges of second-degree insurance fraud, third-degree insurance fraud and failure to secure workers’ compensation.

Handakas, who is also known as William Handakas and Bill Handakas, was released on his own recognizance and ordered to return to court Wednesday. He faces a maximum penalty of 5 to 15 years in prison if convicted on the top charge.

Handakas' attorney, Peter Menoudakos, of Garden City, did not return a request for comment.

Donnelly said Handakas and his company, Vector Structural Corp., entered into a contract for a workers’ compensation policy for coverage from March 2019 to March 2020. Vector said it employed two masons with an annual payroll of $50,000 a year in its application. Records Vector and Handakas filed with the state showed that Vector had 13 employees at that time, and a payroll of $625,466.

The underreporting of employees and payroll, Donnelly said, resulted in an underpayment of $197,623 in insurance premiums, Donnelly said.

“When an employer makes misrepresentations about the number of employees at their company and their payroll figures, they unfairly impact honest employers who bear the burden of insurance fraud in the form of higher premiums and workers who may suffer an injury just to find they have no protection through workers’ compensation coverage,” Donnelly said.

Handakas and Vector also underreported the number of employees and its payroll while applying for a policy with another insurance provider in March 2020, Donnelly said. The company claimed it had a payroll of $20,000 when the actual payroll was $106,453. The alleged underreporting resulted in a loss of $38,892 to the insurance carrier.

“This defendant left his workers exposed and allegedly cheated insurance companies out of hundreds of thousands of dollars,” the district attorney said.

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