Soberanes Fire Contractor faces 6 felony charges
A California contractor already facing possible state fines in the death of a bulldozer driver during last year’s massive Soberanes Fire along the Big Sur coast has been charged with six felonies related to alleged tax evasion and insurance fraud.
Ian Czirban, head of Czirban Concrete Construction of Madera County, was charged Friday in Monterey County with the criminal counts, said the district attorney’s Office. He was also charged with failing to provide employees workers’ compensation insurance, a misdemeanor.
Managing Deputy District Attorney Ed Hazel said an investigation began in October after the Contractor State License Board informed prosecutors that Czirban did not provide workers’ compensation insurance.
“If you have one form of fraud, it’s typical to have other forms of fraud going on as well,” Hazel said.
A new study reports that people have triggered five out of six wildfires in the U.S. over the last two decades, tripling the length of the wildfire season, causing it to start earlier in the East and last longer in the West. Even as climate change continues to negatively impact the country’s fire season, researchers say that human activities play the largest role.
Czirban has not been arrested but was ordered to appear at a May 11 arraignment, Hazel said. Czirban did not respond to a request for comment.