A.G. Schneiderman Announces Arrest Of Peekskill Home Health Care Agency Owner Charged With Failing To Pay Wages To Workers

A.G. Schneiderman Announces Arrest Of Peekskill Home Health Care Agency Owner Charged With Failing To Pay Wages To Workers

NEW YORK -- Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced the arrest and arraignment of Arthur Anyah, owner of Peekskill-based Mical Home Health Care, Inc. (“Mical”).  Anyah and Mical have been indicted on felony charges relating to their alleged failure to pay home health care aides for all the hours that they had worked, as required by New York State Law.  If convicted, Anyah faces up to four years in prison.  

“Many people in our communities depend on home health aides, and these aides should be treated fairly,” Attorney General Schneiderman said. “My office will take aggressive action, including bringing felony charges, against any employer who breaks the law by failing to pay employees for their work.” 

“Home health care aides are entrusted with caring for some of our most vulnerable citizens. They work long, hard hours and deserve to be paid for the invaluable work that they do,” said Acting New York State Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon. “I am proud of the work done by our Labor Standards Division leading up to this arrest, and we look forward to working with the Attorney General’s office to ensure that justice is served and these workers are paid what they are owed.”

According to the 18-count indictment and parallel civil forfeiture action, between December 2012 and June 2015, Anyah and Mical hired workers for the Peekskill Company to provide home health care services to patients, and to run the administrative operations of the business.  The services provided by the Mical home health aides included caring for elderly, sick, and disabled individuals. The care givers helped their clients with basic daily needs such as bathing, preparing food, and assisting with toileting. Anyah and Mical allegedly induced the aides to keep working without pay by stating or implying that they would eventually get paid.  By carrying out this scheme, the defendants are charged with depriving workers of thousands of dollars owed to them.

According to the civil forfeiture action filed by the Attorney General’s Office on January 28th, 2016, Anyah and Mical failed to pay 52 workers a total of $110,186.22 in wages between December 8, 2012 and June 21, 2015.  Further, after numerous workers quit because they were not paid, the defendants allegedly hired new workers, failed to pay those workers for all the hours they worked and induced them to keep working with promises of future pay.  The Attorney General’s civil forfeiture action seeks to recoup the money owed to the 52 workers and has obtained a forfeiture order permitting the seizure of up to $110,186.22 from either Anyah or Mical.

In addition to refusing to pay their workers, the defendants allegedly created false tax documents, such as W-2 forms reporting wages that were never actually paid to workers, and allegedly failed to pay required New York State unemployment insurance contributions for all employees.

The indictment, filed in Westchester Supreme Court, charges Anyah and Mical  with one count of Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, an E felony; four counts of Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree, an E felony; two counts of Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree, an E felony; five counts of Failure to Pay Wages in Accordance with the Labor Law, an unclassified misdemeanor; and six counts of Willful Failure to Pay a Contribution to the Unemployment Insurance Fund, an unclassified misdemeanor. 

Defendant Anyah was released on his own recognizance. The charges are accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law. 

The Attorney General thanks the New York State Department of Labor Office of Special Investigations, Labor Standards Division, and Unemployment Insurance Division for their assistance in this investigation and prosecution.

The investigation was handled for the Attorney General’s Office by Investigators Sylvia Rivera and Angel LaPorte, with the assistance of Investigators Steven Pratt, Sixto Santiago and Brian Metz, under the supervision of Supervising Investigator Luis Carter, Deputy Chief Investigator John McManus and Chief Investigator Dominick Zarrella.

The related asset forfeiture case is being handled by Assistant Attorney General Brian Moore of the Civil Forfeiture Unit.

The prosecution is being handled by Assistant Attorneys General Benjamin Holt and Jennifer S. Michael, under the supervision of Labor Bureau Criminal Section Chief Richard Balletta, Deputy Bureau Chief of Criminal Enforcement and Financial Crimes Stephanie Swenton, and Chief of the Labor Bureau, Terri Gerstein.  Alvin Bragg is the Executive Deputy Attorney General for Social Justice and Kelly Donovan is the Executive Deputy Attorney General for Criminal Justice.