Angelo Stanco and American Paving & Masonry Corp. are charged with allegedly demanding kickbacks and stealing prevailing wage restitution checks totaling more than $42,000 from employees
MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Anne T. Donnelly announced that a Glen Head resident and his paving and masonry company are charged with Grand Larceny, Failure to Pay the Prevailing Wage, and Forgery for allegedly demanding employees kick-back checks they were entitled to receive from the State Department of Labor because of the company’s failure to pay the prevailing wage on public work projects in Brookville and Sands Point.
Angelo Stanco, 58, of Glen Head, and American Paving & Masonry Corp. of Glen Cove, were arraigned before Judge Norman A. Samut on six counts of Grand Larceny in the Third Degree (a D felony); Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree (an E felony); Failure to Pay the Prevailing Wage (an E felony); and six counts of Forgery in the Second Degree (a D felony). Stanco pleaded not guilty and was released on his own recognizance. The corporation also pleaded not guilty through its attorney. The defendants are due back in court on October 11, 2023. If convicted, Stanco faces up to 2-1/3 years to 7 years in prison, as well as a five-year prohibition from bidding upon or working on public work contracts under the felony debarment provision in the New York State Labor Law.
“A prevailing wage ensures that employees on public work sites in our state are compensated fairly and appropriately for their hard work,” said DA Donnelly. “This defendant and his company allegedly failed to abide by the law, underpaying employees their rightful wages, and then doubled down on this unlawful behavior by demanding kickbacks, threatening employees with termination if they did not comply, or stealing restitution checks outright. Some of the defendant’s employees were not aware they were due thousands of dollars in wages. Labor cases matter, and my office will continue to expose shady business owners who fail to live up to their obligations. I thank our partners at the Department of Labor, Public Work Bureau, for bringing this matter to us for prosecution.”
New York State Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon said, “Wage theft is a betrayal of hardworking New Yorkers who deserve fair compensation for their efforts. In collaboration with the Nassau County District Attorney’s office, we were able to hold these wrongdoers accountable for their actions. In New York State, we are committed to safeguarding the rights of all workers and we will not tolerate any form of mistreatment.”
DA Donnelly said that, according to the charges, on July 24, 2018, Angelo Stanco, of American Paving & Masonry Corp. (“American”), executed two stipulations with the New York State Department of Labor, Public Work Bureau (“DOL”) acknowledging that Stanco and American underpaid prevailing wages owed to employees on public work projects in the Villages of Brookville and Sands Point. The stipulations were ordered by the Commissioner of Labor on September 26, 2018, and Stanco and American agreed to remit $102,631 to the DOL for the underpaid prevailing wages and interest.
DOL issued 25 restitution checks for the underpayments and interest to 22 employees on December 7, 2018. Stanco and American provided the employees’ address information to the DOL allowing the agency to mail the checks directly to the underpaid employees.
It is alleged that between December 13, 2018, and January 3, 2019, Stanco demanded several employees kick-back the DOL checks to Stanco and American as a condition of their future employment.
Other employees never received their DOL restitution checks because they were mailed to places allegedly controlled by Stanco and American, including a U.S. Post Office Box and a Mail Store Box.
Many of the kicked-back checks were allegedly fraudulently endorsed by the defendant or double-endorsed with the defendant’s name and deposited into accounts controlled by the defendant.
Seven employees were affected by the alleged scheme, and the amount of the kickbacks totaled $42,595.
Stanco surrendered to NCDA Detective Investigators on September 12, 2023.
On September 6, 2023, the New York State Penal Law was amended to add the theft of wages to the definition of the larceny statute.
Under the new provisions of the law, any employer who does not pay the proper minimum wage, overtime rate, or promised wage, can be charged with a crime, and depending upon the amount of the wage theft, face a potential jail sentence of up to 25 years. The statute also permits prosecutors to aggregate the total amount of wages stolen from the entire workforce to determine the class of larceny to charge – from petit larceny for under $1,000 to a Class B Felony for wage theft in excess of $1 million.
“This law is a great tool in the battle against wage theft and labor trafficking,” DA Donnelly said. “This is a tremendous win for Nassau County workers who are often underpaid, or even unpaid, by unscrupulous employers. Any worker in Nassau who believes they have been a victim of wage theft is encouraged to call our complaint and wage hotline at 516-571-2149.”
DA Donnelly thanks the New York State Department of Labor, Public Work Bureau, for their assistance in the investigation and prosecution of this matter.
The case is being prosecuted by Senior Investigative Counsel and Attorney-in-Charge of Labor Richard Balletta of the Revenue, Auto, Insurance and Labor Crime Bureau. The defendant is represented by Vito Palmieri, Esq.
The charges are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless found guilty.