A Glen Oaks businesses owner pleaded guilty to pocketing more than $1.5 million in wages that were supposed to be paid to his employees, Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced on Tuesday.
Jagdeep Deol, 36, admitted to committing a labor law violation, known as a prevailing wage scam, after his company, Laser Electrical Contracting Inc., skimped on paying its employees over $1.5 million over a four-year period from 2014 to 2018, according to the DA.
The scam began when Deol and his company secured multiple contracts with the Department of Education and the School Construction Authority. City contracts require companies to pay its workers union wages or the equivalent if the workers are not union members. Rather than meeting the union wage, Katz alleges that Deol pocketed the difference for himself.
“Earning a prevailing wage is vital for so many construction employees working on public works projects and the fair payment of that wage is protected by law,” said New York City Department of Investigation Commissioner Margaret Garnett. “Today’s guilty pleas underscore the seriousness of these crimes — that willingly cheating hard-working employees out of more than a million dollars in salaries and benefits will result in vigorous investigation and prosecution, and ultimately, the full repayment of funds to those who were victimized.”
Queens Supreme Court Justice Steven Paynter ordered Deol to pay full restitution to his employees and to also pay the city $160,000 to cover the cost of the investigation.
Deol was given a conditional discharge stipulating that if Deol does not repay his employees, he could face potential jail time.