Prevailing Wage Theft in Construction

October 26, 2015
Stephanie West

NEW YORK, NY –Tariq Mahmood, 56, and his company Peral General Contractor LLC, have been found guilty of failing to pay more than $100,000 to masonry workers on an exterior renovation project at P.S. 7X in the Bronx from June 2012 through October 2012. 

Mahmood and his company were indicted earlier this year in Bronx Supreme Court, part of an ongoing focus on widespread allegations of wage theft at public works projects in New York City which resulted in the arrests of five contractors on April 8, 2015. “Time and time again, we have continued to send a message that wage theft is a serious crime,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “Workers must be treated with the dignity and respect they deserve, and we will not hesitate to bring criminal charges against those who cheat their workers.

An investigation by the Attorney General’s office, along with the New York City School Construction Authority and the New York City Department of Investigation found that Mahmood and his company failed to pay five workers for their work on a renovation project at P.S. 7X in the Bronx.Under the civil provisions of the New York State prevailing wage law, general contractors are financially responsible for underpayments of wages and benefits by their subcontractors.  In this case, the general contractor Dean Builders Group, Inc. of Great Neck, New York entered an agreement with the New York City School Construction Authority on January 14th, 2015 agreeing to pay wages and benefits owed, which together totaled $114,944.88 for this specific project. 

NYC Department of Investigation Commissioner Mark G. Peters said, "Prevailing wage theft is a scourge on public construction, cheating workers and undermining safety. These convictions are important since they will bar this company from doing publicly-funded business in New York State."Tariq Mahmood pleaded guilty to one count of Failure to Pay Prevailing Wages and Benefits. Peral General Contractor LLC, located in Fresh Meadows Queens, also plead guilty to one count of Failure to Pay Prevailing Wages and Benefits, a class D felony, and was sentenced to a conditional discharge as well as debarment, which prohibits the company from bidding on or being awarded any public work projects in the State of New York for 5 years.“The actions of this contractor were reprehensible. It is essential that all of our projects meet the highest standards both for workers and for the students we serve,” said Deputy Chancellor Schools Elizabeth Rose."

October 25, 2015

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