Governor Hochul announces major crackdown to tackle wage theft

Crime convictions

On June 1, 2022, Piyamas Dimasi of Thai Bistro and Karma Bistro was sentenced to 5 years probation and must pay $8,000 in restitution for unpaid wages, as well as reimburse NYSDOL and the New York State Department of Tax and Finance after forcing an immigrant to work in his restaurant. (Schenectady)

On June 1, 2022, Paul Hurley, owner of Hurley’s Steakhouse and Pub in New Rochelle, pleaded guilty to non-payment of wages, a misdemeanor for failing to pay eight employees a total of $23,114 for work performed. As part of his plea deal, Hurley paid full restitution to the victims and will be sentenced on September 14, 2022 to three years probation. (Westchester)

On April 29, 2022, APJ Restoration Inc. pleaded guilty to fraudulent practices against NYSIFa violation of the Workers’ Compensation Act, and Alan James pleaded guilty to second-degree falsification of business records for underreporting the company’s gross sales on documents submitted to NYSIF. The defendants will pay more than $32,575 in restitution to NYSIF. (Suffolk)

On April 7, 2022, Star of gold Installation Services and Paul Gilistro pleaded guilty to 2nd Degree Scheme to Defraud for failing to pay the prevailing statutory rate of pay to employees. As part of the plea agreement, the defendants paid $40,000 in restitution with an additional $40,000 to be paid over a one-year period. (Suffolk)

On March 28, 2022, Tri-State Construction of NY Corp pleaded guilty to “willful failure to pay prevailing wage and supplement” and agreed to pay employees more than $121,530 for not paying employees their benefits overtime and overtime pay on a capital improvement project for the Huntington Union Free School District. (Suffolk)

On February 17, 2022, Designcore ltd. the company pleaded with a parole that includes paying $39,400 in restitution to six employees after failing to pay workers’ wages and overtime. (Brooklyn)

On October 14, 2021, Linda Cuneguin and Tri-County Home Nursing Services pleaded guilty to non-payment of wages under New York labor law and were ordered to repay $61,000 in wages after failing to pay the wages of nine workers. (Nassau)

On September 22, 2020, Jagdep Deol pleaded guilty to failure to pay prevailing wages on behalf of his company, Laser Electrical Contracting. This is a criminal charge for withholding more than $1.5 million from the prevailing salaries of 11 employees on projects for the New York City School Construction Authority and the New York City Department of Education. As part of a plea deal, Deol is required to return full damages to the victims and will reimburse New York City for approximately $160,000 in investigation costs. Deol also pleaded guilty to a violation of New York State salaried labor law. (Queens)

On August 26, 2021, Joseph Fregosi of Fregosi Landscaping pleaded guilty to willful non-payment of prevailing wages, 1st degree falsifying business records and 3rd degree perjury for falsifying payroll reports for failing to pay prevailing wages to two workers on a Putnam County construction project. Fregosi will pay $46,800 in restitution to the victims. (Putnam)

State Senator Jessica Ramos, Chair of the Senate Labor Committee, said: “A full day’s work deserves a full day’s pay. I’ve prioritized legislation that puts my neighbors’ hard-earned money back in their pockets since I joined the Senate, fighting for SWEAT and passing a legislation that targets wage theft in the private construction industry I am grateful that New Yorkers have another tool at their disposal to recover stolen wages and I view this as an important initiative in the collective effort of our State to defend workers against exploitative bosses.

Member of the Assembly Latoya Joyner, Chair of the Assembly Labor Committee, said: “Hard-working families need to know that New York has their back and that employers who seek to line their pockets at the expense of their employees will be held accountable. The success of the Wage Theft Task Force and today’s announcement of the new hotline sends a clear message that New York will not tolerate wage theft and I’m proud to support the governor Hochul’s latest initiative to support workers.”

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said: “Persistent bad actors have systematically abused and deceived their employees. My office will continue to hold these employers accountable and protect the workers who have been victimized. This is about fairness, economic opportunity and racial justice. I am grateful to the governor Hochul and NYSDOL for creating a language access channel for New Yorkers to report wage theft.”

About Margaret L. Portillo

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