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Construction company accused of withholding wages, fraud

It was reported on April 29 that a California construction company was charged with 11 felony offenses following a lengthy investigation. The company was accused of withholding wages from their workers and failing to provide workers' compensation insurance.

An investigation was launched in June 2015 after the alleged violations were reported. The investigation found that the company was accused of failing to pay adequate wages for renovation work that was completed on a hotel. Additionally, their workers' compensation insurance expired in January and had not been renewed. The company allegedly owed several employees more than $30,000 in back wages and approximately $250,000 in insurance premiums to insurance companies. Additionally, they also were accused of owing more than $1 million in back taxes.

The owners of the company were charged with insurance fraud, grand theft of labor and other counts that were associated with labor code violations. Their past clients included major hotel chains, such as Marriott and Hilton Resorts. They were slated to enter their plea on May 2.

When the owners of a company are accused of fraud, they could potentially lose their business, have their assets seized and spend time in jail if they are convicted. Depending on the severity of the accusations, there are several strategies that a criminal defense attorney may employ in an attempt to combat the white-collar crime charges. For example, the attorney may show evidence that the owners had no specific intent to defraud, which is an element of the crime that the prosecution is required to prove beyond a reasonable doubt.

Source: Mercury News, "Owners of Concord firm charged with wage theft, tax fraud", Nate Gartrell, April 29, 2016

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