QUEENS, NY – CRV Precast Construction LLC and six of its employees have been indicted for underpaying workers. The defendants are charged with insurance fraud and grand larceny. The company misclassified workers in order to pay them less than the prevailing wage rate. A worker was killed at a company job site.
“Time and again, we’ve seen how wage theft is symptomatic of an overall disregard for workers’ well-being on work sites where companies regularly defraud their employees. We have also seen them playing fast and loose with their workers’ lives and safety,” said Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. in a press release issued by his office. “As alleged in this case, the defendants devalued their workers’ livelihoods, underpaying them and insuring them for lower-risk work while simultaneously sending them to carry out complicated construction projects. Misclassifying workers as lesser-skilled is a common way that employers steal from their employees.”
Under the prevailing wage law, contractors and subcontractors on federally funded construction projects are required to pay the prevailing rate of wage and benefits to workers. By misclassifying workers on certified payroll reports as lesser-skilled concrete laborers instead of ironworkers, the defendants were able to underpay from workers. When workers complained about the lower wages, they were informed that they could quit.
In one instance, the defendants provided NYSIF with false information about an ironworker, Elizandro Ramos, who died at a CRV job site in Queens. In a payroll summary, the victim was falsely listed as a concrete laborer, even though he was performing iron work for CRV at the time of his death.
“These defendants stole from their workers on city construction projects, failing to pay the legally required prevailing wage and underpaying more than $400,000 in insurance premiums, according to the charges,” DOI Commissioner Mark G. Peters said in the release. “In trying to skirt these laws for their own benefit, the defendants’ alleged conduct has instead landed them in handcuffs and facing prosecution.”