§ 1172.2. Unlawful practices
1172.2. Unlawful practices
A. It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly make any false, fraudulent, or misleading oral or written statement, or to knowingly omit or conceal material information for the purpose of obtaining workers' compensation coverage, or for the purpose of avoiding, delaying, or diminishing the amount of payment of any workers' compensation premiums.
B. It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly misrepresent or conceal payroll, classification of workers, or information regarding any employer's loss history which would be material to the computation and application of an experience rating modification factor for the purpose of avoiding or diminishing the amount of payment of any workers' compensation premiums.
C. It shall be unlawful for any person, whether present or absent, directly or indirectly, to aid and abet any other person, or directly or indirectly counsel any other person, to engage in conduct in violation of this Section.
D. Whoever violates any provision of this Section shall be imprisoned, with or without hard labor, for not less than one year nor more than ten years, or fined up to two hundred fifty dollars per day that such person's violation of any provision of this Section resulted in failure to properly provide security for compensation, or both. All fines collected shall be deposited in the Office of Workers' Compensation Administrative Fund established in R.S. 23:1291.1(E).
E. (1)(a) Any person, insurer, or self-insurance fund who has knowledge of or who believes that a false, fraudulent, or misleading statement is knowingly made or is knowingly omitted for the purpose of avoiding, delaying, or diminishing the amount of payment of any workers' compensation premium shall, within sixty days of notice of such statement or omission, send to the office of workers' compensation administration, on a form prescribed by the director, the information requested and such additional information as may be requested by the office of workers' compensation administration.
(b) The office of workers' compensation administration shall review such reports and select such acts of misrepresentation as, in its judgment, may require further investigation.
(c) The office of workers' compensation administration shall then cause an independent examination of the facts surrounding such acts to be made to determine the extent, if any, to which fraud, deceit, or intentional misrepresentation of any kind exists.
(d) The office of workers' compensation administration shall report any alleged violations of law which its investigations disclose to the appropriate licensing agency and prosecuting authorities having jurisdiction with respect to such violation.
(2) No person or entity acting without malice, fraudulent intent, reckless disregard for the truth, or bad faith, shall be subject to civil liability for libel, slander, or any other relevant tort, and no civil cause of action of any nature shall exist against such person or entity by virtue of the filing of reports or furnishing of other information, either orally or in writing, relative to a violation by any employer of the provisions of this Section.
(3) The grant of immunity provided by this Subsection shall not abrogate or modify in any way any statutory or other privilege or immunity otherwise enjoyed by such person or entity.
(4) Any person or entity entitled by this Subsection to immunity from civil liability shall also be entitled to an award of attorney fees and costs if they are the prevailing party in a civil suit and the party bringing the action was not substantially justified in doing so. For purposes of this Section, a proceeding is “substantially justified” if it had a reasonable basis in law or fact at the time it was initiated.