MEA members assigned to the Comptroller’s Office Bureau of Labor Law (Dean Kokkoris, Attorney, Michelle Centeno, Director of Outreach for Labor Law, Frank Gonzalez, Director of Investigators, Wasyl Kinach, Director of Classifications and Stu Rimmer, Director of Audits) played key roles in the investigation of a contractor scam.
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Fine Contractor $3.2M, Impose Ban for Scam That Cheated Workers
· By RACHEL CISTO
· Feb 17, 2017 Updated Feb 17, 2017
A contractor that performed more than $21 million in work for the city—including construction of Bronx River Park and the North Infirmary Command Building on Rikers Island—has been fined $3.2 million and barred from accepting any contracts from New York City or State for the next five years.
According to City Comptroller Scott Stringer, K.S. Contracting Corporation and its owner, Paresh Shah, cheated immigrant workers out of $1.7 million in wages and benefits from 2008 to 2011 while it held seven city public works contracts.
A Royal Ripoff
Mr. Stringer said the company issued paychecks to about half of its workers, who were then required to cash the checks and bring the money back to supervisors, who would then distribute cash to all employees on the jobsite. The company reported it was paying prevailing wages—$50 an hour—but employees received daily cash salaries starting at $90 a day. Most of the affected workers were Latino, South Asian or West Indian immigrants.
K.S. Contracting is the 40th firm to be barred by Mr. Stringer from public works projects for prevailing-wage violations since 2014.