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Post date: November 20 2013

A.G. Schneiderman Announces Guilty Plea Of Construction Boss For Failing To Pay Workers

Employer Did Not Pay Workers Any Wages For Several Weeks Of Work

Wing Khay Lee, Owner Of Corum Group, Ordered To Pay Restitution To Workers And State Unemployment Insurance Division

NEW YORK - Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced the guilty plea and sentencing of Wing Khay Lee, the owner of Corum Group LLC, for failing to pay wages to their workers on several private construction projects in Queens. Lee admitted to a misdemeanor count of Failure to Pay Wages in violation of Labor Law Section 198-a(1).

Lee, 42, of College Point, Queens, owned and operated Corum Group LLC, a Queens construction company that performed construction work in Queens County and elsewhere. The defendant failed to pay at least five employees the wages they were owed between approximately August 2011 and September 2012, which amounted to more than $22,000 in wages. 

"Paying workers is the most basic responsibility of an employer—and failure to do so is a serious crime. I’m pleased to see Mr. Lee held accountable and workers receive the pay they deserve," said Attorney General Schneiderman. 

Lee paid $22,440 in restitution to the former employees for unpaid wages, and a judgment was entered against Lee in the amount of $4,342.74 for unpaid unemployment insurance contributions, interest, and penalties. 

They were sentenced by the Honorable Suzanne J. Melendez to a conditional discharge and a $500 fine. As part of the sentence, the defendant was ordered to pay the restitution and to perform five days of community service.

Lee and Corum Group were charged with five counts of Failure to Pay Wages, a class "A" misdemeanor, and one count of Failure to Pay Unemployment Insurance Contributions, a misdemeanor. The maximum penalty faced on the failure to pay wages under the Labor Law is an imprisonment for one year and a fine of $500 to $5,000. 

New York's wage and hour laws require that employers pay workers for all work that is performed. The law requires employers to pay at least the state minimum wage of $7.25 per hour plus time-and-a-half for overtime hours. A first offense of failure to pay wages under the Labor Law is punishable as a misdemeanor, and any subsequent offense occurring within six years is punishable as a felony. 

The investigation was conducted by former New York Attorney General Investigator Erin Wolfe and Investigator Elsa Rojas under the supervision of Supervising Investigators Luis Carter and Deputy Chiefs Kenneth Morgan and Vito Spano.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Benjamin Holt under the supervision of Labor Bureau Section Chief Felice Sontupe, Bureau Chief Terri Gerstein, Executive Deputy Attorney for Social Justice Alvin Bragg, Executive Deputy Attorney for Criminal Justice Kelly Donovan and First Deputy of Affirmative Litigation Janet Sabel.

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