Merit Drywall charged with fraud and theft

On Tuesday, January 21, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced charges against Merit Drywall with two counts of insurance fraud and one count of theft by swindle.

The husband and wife team, Leroy and Joyce Mehr have been accused of mischaracterizing “dozens” of employees as independent contractors in order to save about $300,000 money on workers’ compensation insurance premiums. 

“It’s not a new scheme,” Freeman said, “but we’ve rarely seen it in the kind of level we have here.”

NCSRCC’s Attorney, Burt Johnson reiterated that general contractors and developers can no longer hire criminally low bidders and pretend they don’t know where the profit is coming from.

“For the developers and general contractors, they receive bids from all kinds of contractors, contractors that are violating the law … and contractors that are abiding by the law and paying their workers on the books,” he said. “For them, if you look at the bid and you see that the low bidder is hundreds of thousands of dollars cheaper, you should be asking more questions.”

Watch the full press conference here

Full news coverage:

Clearwater drywall company faces workers’ comp fraud charges, Star Tribune

Charges: Minnesota drywall employees stiffed out of workers’ comp, MPR News

Former owners of Merit Drywall charged with insurance fraud and theft by swindle, KARE 11

Hennepin Co. Attorney Mike Freeman Announces Felony Charges Against Former Owners Of Merit Drywall, WCCO

Minnesota couple charged with insurance fraud in connection with construction business, Fox 9