A Maspeth, Queens, steel-fabrication company copped to cheating hundreds workers out of overtime pay and wages, and agreed to pay out more than $6 million owed to welders and ironworkers, according to its plea deal with the state Department of Labor following a joint investigation with the Manhattan District Attorney’s office.
AGL Industries pleaded guilty to third-degree grand larceny and began paying 499 workers the money owed them with a $1.5-million allocation Aug. 13, Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance Jr.’s office said.
The balance will be paid over five years in what is the largest single wage recovery in the DOL’s history.
The company also admitted to reporting fraudulent financial information and will settle through a $260,855 payment to the state’s Unemployment Insurance fund, the DA’s office said. A company official, Dominick Lofaso, also pleaded guilty to a class D felony for grand larceny.
Welders and ironworkers had complained to company officials about underpayment but were essentially told “tough,” according to the DA’s office. They then took their grievances to Ironworkers Local 361, in Ozone Park, and the DA’s office in February 2018. A subsequent joint investigation by the DA’s Construction Fraud Task Force and the DOL revealed that the company withheld overtime and other wages from workers during a roughly four-year period starting in November 2013.
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Photo: Elvert Barnes (Flickr)