Two Flushing businesses run by a man and his wife pleaded guilty to defrauding employees out of wages earned while working on a city contract, the Department of Investigation said last week.
Rainbow Mechanical Systems Inc., of 42-49 Colden St. and its affiliate, VICO Mechanical Systems of 144-67 41st Ave., pleaded guilty on Jan. 28 to defrauding two employees out of $32,913 in wages earned while working on a construction project in Brooklyn, DOI said.
The Rainbow firm chose to enrich itself at the expense of its own workers, said Edward J. Kuriansky, commissioner of DOI. The case serves notice to all would-be contractors that the city simply will not tolerate wage fraud or any other cheating on public projects.
Rainbow agreed to pay a $35,000 fine to the comptrollers office, while both Rainbow and VICO will be barred from bidding on public work contracts or subcontracts within the state for the next five years, DOI said.
Mohammed Akbar is the principal director of Rainbow, and his wife, Nasreen Sultan, the president of VICO.
According to DOI, in December 2000, the city Department of Design and Construction told DOI that Rainbow, which was working on a $241,000 DDC contract to install a ventilation system in a Department of Transportation building in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, was not paying its workers enough wages.
Upon investigation, the city discovered that Rainbow submitted fraudulent payroll records to the DDC from June 20 to Dec. 6, 2000, said DOI.
Rainbow doctored the books so much that it listed one employee as having worked only 36 hours during a five-month period, when the daily sign-in-logs indicated he had worked 442.5 hours, said DOI.
The employee worked as a sheet metal worker. Typically, a sheet metal worker receives more than $50 an hour, but Rainbow only paid the worker $7 to $8 an hour, said DOI.
Another employee worked 205.5 hours and was completely left off the books, said DOI.
In total, one employee was defrauded of $22,243.98 and the other of $10,699.80 over the 5-1/2-month period in 2000.
Brooklyn Assistant District Attorney Eileen K. Ayvazian prosecuted the case.
Reach reporter Alexander Dworkowitz by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 141.
©2002 Community News Group
By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:
You agree that you, and not TimesLedger.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to TimesLedger.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.