Queens contractor arrested for kickback scheme against employees

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A Queens contractor was arrested for allegedly running a kickback scheme — illegally taking a portion of workers’ wages — and underpaying employees for a grand total of about $9,300 for work on the Pomonok Houses in Fresh Meadows, state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced Wednesday.

Jagdish Singh and his Jamaica-based company Navico B & S Construction Corp. were charged with grand larceny in the fourth degree, offering a false instrument for filing in the first degree, falsifying business records in the first degree, kickback of wages and failure to pay wages. Singh faces up to four years in prison, according to Schneiderman.

Singh, 57, allegedly demanded kickbacks and underpayed workers for scaffolding jobs done at the Pomonok Houses, a New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) property, in 2014.

The contractor took $5,785 in wages from one worker and $1,006 from another, according to Schneiderman. He also underpaid a third worker by $2,520, Schneiderman said.

The arrest was part of a citywide bust that targeted illegal wage theft on public construction projects during a two-year period.

A total of five contractors were arrested and charged with underpaying nearly $1 million in wages to employees, who were working on the renovation of P.S. 7X in the Bronx, carpentry work for the Department of Housing, Preservation and Development’s Sugar Hill Houses in Harlem and NYCHA’s Pomonok Houses.


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