Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., and New York City Department of Investigation Commissioner Mark G. Peters today announced the indictment of CRV PRECAST CONSTRUCTION, LLC (“CRV”) and six of its employees for misclassifying workers as lesser-skilled, underpaying them, and falsifying information about payroll and employees, including a worker who was killed at a company job site. The defendants are charged in a New York State Supreme Court indictment with Insurance Fraud in the Second and Third Degrees, Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, and Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, among other charges.
"Time and again, we’ve seen how wage theft is symptomatic of an overall disregard for workers’ wellbeing: On worksites where companies regularly defraud their employees, we have also seen them playing fast and loose with their workers’ lives and safety,” said District Attorney Vance. “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, and I thank our Construction Fraud Task Force partners for their continued commitment to protecting the workers who put their lives on the line every day."
The indictment follows a joint investigation led by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office’s Construction Fraud Task Force and DOI, with additional assistance by NYSIF.
In addition to wage theft, the defendants also filed false payroll information with NYSIF in order to lower CRV's workers' compensation insurance premiums. By under-reporting the company's expected aggregate payroll for 2015-16, CRV underpaid NYSIF approximately $380,000 for the insurance coverage it received. In addition, by misclassifying ironworkers as concrete laborers—who are insured by NYSIF at a lower risk factor—CRV fraudulently lowered the company’s premium for the insurance year 2016-17. In total, CRV underpaid NYSIF by approximately $410,000 by under-reporting payroll and misclassifying workers.
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.
The charges contained in the indictment are merely allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. All factual recitations are derived from documents filed in court and statements made on the record in court.