A contractor from Valley Stream was arrested for allegedly cheating 10 workers out of nearly $700,000 in wages and benefits on taxpayer-funded New York City public school construction projects, authorities said.
Vickram Mangru was charged with felony counts failure to pay the prevailing rate of wage or supplements and falsifying business records. He was released without bail following his initial court appearance.
“Those who attempt to cheat hard-working New Yorkers out of their wages and benefits should take note: you must pay workers proper prevailing wages on taxpayer-funded projects – or face the consequences,” New York State Attorney General Eric Schneideman said.
Prosecutors said Mangru paid workers “well below” legally mandated prevailing wage rates on city Department of Education projects in the Bronx between December 2012 and February ‘15.
He submitted misleading and inaccurate payroll records listing the hours worked and wages paid to his workers in an attempt to coverup the underpayments, authorities said.
He was previously debarred and banned for a five-year period from performing public work projects by the city Comptroller’s Office for failing to pay proper prevailing wages to workers, prosecutors said. But the suspect instead changed the name of his company and continued allegedly underpaying workers, authorities said.
Mangru faces five to 15 years in prison, debarment for an additional five years, and restitution payment for his workers, if convicted. He is due back in court June 27.