A contractor and his company were charged in Suffolk County on Wednesday with not paying $104,000 in wages to workers on a capital project for the Huntington Union Free School District, authorities said.
Young Jae Kim, 67, of Queens, and his company, Tri-State Construction of New York Corp., are each charged with first-degree offering a false instrument for filing, and willful failure to pay the minimum Rate of wage and supplement, according to the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office.
“People deserve to be paid for the work they do; it’s that simple,” District Attorney Tim Sini said. “Not only were these defendants allegedly shortchanging their employees, but they were doing so on the public’s payroll. This is unacceptable.”
Officials say that between June 29, 2018, and Aug. 11, 2018, the Huntington Union Free School District retained the defendants as a contractor on a district-wide capital improvement project. During this time, Kim allegedly submitted certified payrolls to the school district that indicated a failure to pay workers any supplement benefits and overtime as required for working more than 40 hours in a workweek. Investigators found that Kim allegedly failed to pay 11 employees a total of $104,000 in prevailing wage supplements and overtime.
Kim also allegedly filed false quarterly wage reporting forms to the New York State Department of Labor, underreporting wages to avoid paying Unemployment Insurance Fund contributions, officials said.
John Caravella Esq., is a construction attorney and formerly practicing project architect at The Law Office of John Caravella, P.C., representing architects, engineers, contractors, subcontractors, and owners in all phases of contract preparation, litigation, and arbitration across New York and Florida. He also serves as an arbitrator to the American Arbitration Association Construction Industry Panel. Mr. Caravella can be reached by email: [email protected] or (631) 608-1346.
This is a general information article and should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. The content above has been edited for conciseness and additional relevant points are omitted for space constraints. Readers are encouraged to seek counsel from a construction lawyer who has experience with Long Island construction law for advice on a particular circumstance.
Adina Genn covers law and government for Long Island Business News. She can be reached via email at [email protected] or at (631) 913-4241.