A.G. Underwood And Port Authority I.G. Nestor Announce Arrest Of Public Works Contractor Charged With Prevailing Wage Theft Of More Than $40K

News from the New York Attorney General's Office 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 16, 2018

Attorney General's Office Press Office / 212-416-8060
nyag.pressoffice@ag.ny.gov 

A.G. UNDERWOOD AND PORT AUTHORITY I.G. NESTOR ANNOUNCE ARREST OF PUBLIC WORKS CONTRACTOR CHARGED WITH PREVAILING WAGE THEFT OF MORE THAN $40K

Marjan Kasapinov and EMLO Corp. Are Charged With Failing To Pay Over $40,000 in Wages and Benefits to Workers Performing Construction Work at LaGuardia Airport 

QUEENS – Attorney General Barbara D. Underwood and Port Authority Inspector General Michael Nestor announced today the arrest of Marjan Kasapinov for allegedly underpaying 28 workers by more than $40,000 in wages and benefits for a publicly-funded construction project at LaGuardia Airport. If convicted, Kasapinov faces up to 1 1/3 to 4 years in prison, prohibition from performing public work for five years, and payment of back wages to his employees. 

“Contractors that corrupt public projects and fail to pay their workers will be held accountable,” said Attorney General Underwood. “Workers deserve fair pay of the wages and benefits they’ve earned – not to be exploited by their employer. Our office will continue to work relentlessly to combat wage theft and the abuse of public dollars.”

Michael Nestor, Inspector General for the Port Authority of NY & NJ, said, “Companies doing business with municipalities, state agencies, and authorities are legally bound to pay their employees the fair and prevailing wage. In this case, the defendant chose to enrich himself at the expense of his own workers. Today’s arrest will serve notice to all contractors that the Port Authority of NY & NJ will not tolerate wage fraud or any other criminal misconduct on public projects. The Port Authority Office of Inspector General and its Law Enforcement partners will aggressively identify, investigate and bring to justice those who corrupt the integrity of the construction industry.”

“This construction company and its owner are accused of blatantly depriving their workers of fair pay and required protections, which cannot be tolerated,” said Inspector General Catherine Leahy Scott. “These charges should send a clear message that my law enforcement partners and I will not tolerate any business that tries to cheat the system, especially while putting their own employees at a disadvantage.”

Marjan Kasapinov, doing business as EMLO Corp. in Paterson, New Jersey, was contracted to perform asbestos removal work on several buildings at LaGuardia Airport between March 2014 and March 2015. Kasapinov is accused of allegedly submitting certified payroll records – paperwork required to be filed with the Port Authority – that falsely listed the amount of money in wages and benefits paid to his workers, resulting in 28 construction workers being underpaid by $40,000. Kasapinov is also alleged to have failed to secure the required worker’s compensation insurance for his company, even though asbestos removal work is hazardous.

Kasapinov and EMLO Corp are charged with Failure to Pay the Prevailing Rate of Wage or Supplements, Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree, and Failure to Secure Worker’s Compensation Insurance, all felonies. The defendants were arraigned today before Justice Scott Dunn in Queens County Criminal Court and were released on their own recognizance.

The Attorney General thanks the Office of the Port Authority Inspector General and the Office of the New York State Inspector General for their assistance in this investigation.

The Attorney General’s investigation was conducted by Attorney General Investigator Melissa Kaplan, under the supervision of Senior Investigator Sylvia Rivera and Deputy Chief Investigator John McManus. The Attorney General’s Investigations Bureau is led by Chief Investigator Dominic Zarrella. 

Assistant Attorney General Jeremy Pfetsch is prosecuting this case, under the supervision of Labor Bureau Criminal Section Chief Richard Balletta, Labor Bureau Chief ReNika Moore, and Bureau Chief Stephanie Swenton of the Criminal Enforcement and Financial Crimes Bureau. The Executive Deputy Attorney General for Social Justice is Matthew Colangelo and the Executive Deputy Attorney General for Criminal Justice is Margaret Garnett. 

The Port Authority Office of Inspector General’s investigation was conducted by Forensic Investigator Mia Chang, with the assistance of Detective Steve Poulos, under the supervision of Supervisory Forensic Investigator Fred Ferrone, Assistant Director of Investigations Salvatore Dalessandro, and Director of Investigations Steve Pasichow.

All charges are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.