Prosecutors in Monterey County have filed seven criminal counts against the small construction firm that employed Robert Reagan, the bulldozer operator killed last July while working the massive Soberanes Fire, the costliest wildfire in U.S. history.
Reagan's death prompted investigations by Cal Fire and state workplace regulators, as well as the state agency that keeps tabs on California's construction industry. The incident led to a wrongful death lawsuit against the state. And it brought attention to vulnerabilities faced by hundreds of private contractors that help battle California's wildfires year after year.
The Monterey County District Attorney's Office is charging Ian Czirban, the owner of Czirban Concrete Construction, with two counts of insurance fraud, two counts of filing a forged document, tax evasion, failure to collect taxes and failure to provide workers' compensation insurance. Six of the seven charges are felonies.
"We are alleging that he submitted documents to government agencies that contained false or forged information," said Ed Hazel, Monterey County managing deputy district attorney, in an interview Monday.
Czirban also submitted documents to an insurance carrier that contained false information, according to Hazel.