Employer Criminally Prosecuted For Under-reporting Wages & Immigration Violations
The owner of a restaurant has been indicted by the U.S. Attorneys’ office for under-reporting wages ( employment taxes), the failure to pay overtime, and for immigration violations. I have continually stressed that the various state and federal agencies are beating the bushes and are working in a cooperative effort to seek out employers that are violating the law. In this particular case, the IRS went after the employer because he tried to avoid paying increased payroll taxes which could land him in federal prison for twenty years along with a fine of $250,000 for each criminal count.
In addition, the employees in this particular case were not American citizens, and the employer failed to have the required work-related documentation on file (I-9’s) as required by Homeland Security. I know this may sound like the same old song but the reality is we stumble across clients every week that are not in compliance. Please get the updated form and use it for new hires. Another issue that keeps coming up, are calls that employers are receiving from non-employees who are upset that an employee of the company is reportedly using their social security number. When the employer questions the employee, the employee admits that they are in fact working either under an assumed name and/or are using another person’s social security number. If they admit this, they have falsified company documentation and can be subject to immediate termination. The push back we get sometimes is that that particular worker is “the best worker that we have.” Well, you decide what you want to do but if you get caught you will pay the price.
Finally, the employer mentioned earlier also got nailed because he failed to pay overtime. Here we go again. Wage and hour issues but this time the feds, under the Fair Labor Standards Act, jumped into the deep end of the pool. Furthermore, this guy not only failed to pay overtime but he also paid a part of the wages in CASH. When we pay in case what are we failing to do? Yep, pay taxes, and the government wants their piece of the pie.
PLEASE, once again, make sure that you are in compliance in all of the areas noted above. Now we are talking about FEDERAL PRISON (and by the way, federal prison time is done at 100% AND NOT 50% like state or county time).