DA SINI & PARTNERS ANNOUNCE ARREST OF 8 INDIVIDUALS & 9 CORPORATIONS IN LABOR CRIME CRACKDOWN
Defendants Allegedly Committed Wage and Benefit Fund Theft, Prevailing Wage Violations, Unemployment Insurance Fraud, Workers Comp Fraud & Other Offenses
(SUFFOLK COUNTY, N.Y.) – Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy D. Sini was joined by the New York State Department of Labor (“NYS DOL”), the New York State Insurance Fund (“NYSIF”), the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (“NYS DEC”), the Suffolk County Police Department and members of the District Attorney’s Office’s Labor Advisory Board today to announce the arrest of eight individuals and nine corporations in a crackdown on labor-related crimes committed in Suffolk County.
Collectively, the charged crimes involve the theft of more than $250,000 in employees’ wages and benefits, nonpayment of more than $58,000 to the NYS DOL for unemployment insurance fund contributions, and nonpayment of more than $133,000 to the NYSIF for workers’ compensation insurance premiums. Two of the defendants are also charged with the alleged illegal dumping of polluted water into a public storm water drain.
“Here in Suffolk County, we will not tolerate the exploitation of workers or our taxpayers by greedy corporations and business owners,” District Attorney Sini said. “That is why my Office, along with our partners, is aggressively identifying and prosecuting bad actors in the business community and holding them accountable. Indeed, not only will our efforts protect workers and taxpayers, they will also prevent these bad businesses from gaining an unfair competitive advantage against legitimate, law-abiding businesses.”
“The Governor and the Department of Labor take the responsibility of enforcing labor and worker protections very seriously. We have zero tolerance for those businesses who seek to defraud the system,” said New York State Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon. “Businesses who don’t play by the rules will be held accountable. We are fortunate to have law enforcement partners like the Suffolk County DA’s office to help us reinforce those protections.”
“Environmental crimes impact our natural resources and quality of life,” DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said. “Our state’s stringent laws are in place to help prevent waterbodies from being damaged from illegal discharges, and DEC was proud to partner with Suffolk County District Attorney Sini’s office to stop the illegal car wash runoff in Dix Hills. We will continue to work together to bring polluters to justice and protect Long Island’s sole source aquifer and its groundwater resources.”
“The results of this crackdown should serve as a warning to operators of businesses that we are watching,” Suffolk County Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart said. “Labor crimes have a negative impact on not only employees but also other businesses that are following the law. I would like to thank the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, as well as the government agencies and SCPD detectives, who dedicated months to this case which led to a successful conclusion.”
Several of the cases were referred by members of the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office’s Labor Advisory Board. The Labor Advisory Board, which was launched by District Attorney Sini in June 2018, consists of approximately 35 union and non-union labor representatives who meet with the District Attorney’s Office on a quarterly basis to collaborate on matters of mutual concern for law enforcement and the labor community. The Board also serves as a conduit for the labor community to refer allegations of criminal activity involving labor law and other violations to the District Attorney’s Office.
These cases are being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Shaun McCready, of the Financial Investigations & Money Laundering Bureau’s Labor Crime Unit.
The investigations are ongoing. District Attorney Sini urges anyone who worked for one of these companies and was underpaid or deprived of his or her wages to contact the Labor Crime Unit at 631-853-4232 or via email to InfoDA@SuffolkCountyNY.gov.
The sweep, which comprised a months-long, multi-agency investigation, resulted in the following arrests:
Robert Montgomery, 60, of Garden City, and Bob 1232 Jericho Corp. a/k/a DHCW Inc. (doing business as Dix Hills Brushless Car Wash) are each charged with Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class E felony; Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree, a class E felony; and Discharging into the Waters of the State without a Permit, a misdemeanor under New York State Environmental Conservation Law.
Since 2014, the defendants, operating as Dix Hills Brushless Car Wash, located at 1232 E. Jericho Turnpike in Huntington, have allegedly been paying employees sub-minimum wages and failing to pay time and a half for extensive amounts of overtime hours worked. The investigation revealed that employees regularly worked upwards of 60 hours a week. According to an audit by the NYS DOL, the defendants allegedly owe more than $180,000 for unpaid wages from 2014 to 2017. In addition to underpaying wages, the defendants allegedly submitted NYS-45 forms to the NYS DOL falsely listing zero employees to avoid paying $29,000 in Unemployment Insurance Fund contributions that would have otherwise been assessed.
During the course of the investigation, it was discovered that Montgomery was allegedly illegally discharging the car wash runoff water from the collection tanks into the public storm water drains on Jericho Turnpike in Huntington, rather than having it pumped and carted away as required by the NYS DEC. Environmental Conservation Police Officers assisted in the investigation and conducted testing of the runoff water, which confirmed the presence of volatile organic compounds and elevated levels of heavy metals.
Andrew Woodstock, 57, of Oyster Bay, and Woodstock Construction Group, Inc., are each charged with Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class E felony, and Willful Failure to File a True Certified Payroll, a class E felony in violation of New York State Labor Law.
From November 2016 to May 2017, Woodstock Construction Group, Inc., was hired by the Town of Babylon as the general contractor for the Gilgo Beach Marina Dock Restoration public works project. From December 2017 to May 2018, the corporation was hired by the Town of Islip as the general contractor for the Bayport Beach Breakwater Restoration public works project. During those time periods, the defendants allegedly underpaid employees more than $50,000 by misclassifying dockbuilders as lower waged laborers and failing to pay for overtime hours worked. Woodstock is alleged to have submitted false payroll record that omitted the overtime hours worked and listed the incorrect job classifications for 22 workers over the course of the two projects.
Paul Gilistro, 58, of Selden, and Goldstar Installation Services, Inc., are each charged with Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class E felony, and Willful Failure to File a True Certified Payroll, a class E felony in violation of New York State Labor Law.
From 2016 to 2019, the defendants, formerly doing business as The Floor Worx of Long Island, allegedly misclassified 12 employees as independent contractors to avoid paying the statutory prevailing wage on public works jobs performed throughout Suffolk and Nassau counties. During that time period, Gilistro is alleged to have regularly falsified the sworn certified payroll records he submitted to reflect the job classifications and wages the employees should have received.
Nicholas Guercio, 40, of Brightwaters, and Environmental Compliance Associates Corp. (“ECAC”) are each charged with Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree, a class E felony, and Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree, a class E felony.
In 2018, ECAC was the general contractor for a public works project at the Wading River Fire Department. During the course of the project, Guercio allegedly submitted forged lien releases purportedly signed by two of his subcontractors affirming they had been paid when they were collectively owed more than $30,000.
Arsenio Carcamo, 58, of Oceanside, and Answer Construction Corp. are each charged with Fraudulent Practices against the State Insurance Fund, a class E felony in violation of New York State Workers’ Compensation Law.
Carcamo is alleged to have fraudulently omitted his ownership of Answer Construction Corp. when applying for a workers’ compensation policy with the NYSIF. Prior to incorporating Answer Construction, Carcamo owned Multiwork Construction Corp., which has an outstanding balance of more than $17,000 with the NYSIF, therefore making him ineligible to take out a new policy.
Tosef Siddiqi, 66, of Westbury, and Allstate Enterprises, Inc., are each charged with Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree, a class E felony, and Willful Failure to File a True Certified Payroll, a class E felony in violation of New York State Labor Law.
Siddiqi and Allstate Enterprises, Inc., allegedly submitted a forged performance bond to the Huntington Union-Free School District after winning the bid for its 2018 District Wide Capital Improvement Project. The defendants are also alleged to have failed to submit certified payrolls for their time on the project.
Alan James, 70, of Saint James, and APJ Restoration, Inc., are each charged with Fraudulent Practices against the State Insurance Fund, a class E felony in violation of New York State Workers Compensation Law.
An audit by the NYSIF revealed evidence that between August 2017 to August 2018, the defendants allegedly failed to report more than $450,000 in revenue to the NYSIF in order to avoid paying $68,613.69 in policy premiums that would have otherwise been assessed.
Richard Hall, 57, of Northport, and Regal Contracting, Inc., are each charged with Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class E felony, and Willful Failure to Pay Prevailing Wages in an Amount Less than $25,000, a misdemeanor in violation of New York State Labor Law. In addition, Hall and Triangle Enterprises of Long Island, Inc., are each charged with Fraudulent Practices against the State Insurance Fund, a class E felony in violation of New York State Workers Compensation Law.
In the summer of 2018, Hall and Regal Contracting, Inc., allegedly failed to pay $7,400 in benefits to the Laborers Local 66 Benefit Fund for multiple workers on five different projects. In December 2018, Regal canceled its NYSIF policy. Hall then incorporated Triangle Enterprises of Long Island, Inc., and allegedly fraudulently omitted his ownership of the company on its application for workers’ compensation insurance. Regal Contracting allegedly owes more than $28,000 in unpaid Unemployment Insurance Fund contributions to the NYS DOL and allegedly owes more than $48,000 in unpaid workers’ compensation premiums to the NYSIF, therefore making Hall ineligible to take out a new policy.
A criminal charge is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
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