La Mesa firm will stand trial on fraud charges

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – Executives of a La Mesa-based firm that buys and renovates homes for re-sale were ordered Friday to stand trial on charges of unemployment insurance fraud and failure to have workers’ compensation insurance, but not for a violation of a safety standards count stemming from a fatal tree-trimming accident.

David Scott Wolfe, 48, and his company, Three Frogs Inc., were charged earlier this year with a violation of OSHA standards in connection with the accident last Nov. 12 that killed Joshua Pudsey.

Pudsey, 42, was trimming trees using a cherry picker outside a La Mesa home when a large branch from a 60-foot eucalyptus tree fell on him, crushing his head.

After a four-day preliminary hearing, Judge Leo Valentine ruled that Wolfe and two of his employees, Chief Financial Officer Jonathan D. Cox, 35, and Chief Operating Officer John Murphy, 36, should stand trial on felony and misdemeanor fraud charges. But the judge dismissed the felony safety standard charge against Wolfe, citing insufficient evidence.

A Superior Court arraignment was set for Sept. 25.

Categories: KUSI