By Paul Milo
NEW YORK-- The New York City Comptroller levied a huge fine on a Parsippany company that cheated dozens of workers, mostly immigrant laborers, out of millions of dollars in wages for work on city projects.
K.S. Contracting, owned by Paresh Shah, was ordered to pay $3.2 million and will also be barred from receiving state contracts for five years.
In its statement the comptroller's office did not identify the headquarters of Shah's company, but an Internet search turned up multiple Parsippany addresses for the business. State records tie Shah to at least one of those addresses, The Daily Record reported.
The company, named in 2015 as one of the worst wage theft violators in the city by the Center for Popular Democracy, was awarded more than $21 million in contracts between 2007 and 2010.
K.S. Contracting came under investigation in May 2010, when an employee filed a complaint. An investigation over the next several years uncovered a kickback scheme targeting immigrant employees, Comptroller Scott M. Stringer said.
Following a four-day administrative trial in May 2016, Stringer's office learned that checks were regularly issued to just half the workforce, which was ordered to cash them and return the money to supervisors. The cash was then given to all the workers at a rate significantly below the prevailing wage.
At least 36 workers were cheated out of $1.7 million in wages between 2008 and 2011, with some workers who were to be paid a combined wage and benefits package of $50 an hour receiving just $90 a day in cash. Most of the victims were workers of Latino, West Indian or South Asian descent, Stringer said.
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