The owner of a Bohemia-based construction firm was charged with nearly 140 felony and misdemeanor counts of fraud Thursday, prosecutors said, in connection with bilking employees of more than $250,000 in benefits they should have enjoyed while working at Kennedy Airport.
Kenneth Padover, 56, of Arbor Concrete Corp. was arrested at his Dix Hills home and arraigned in Queens Criminal Court on 136 felony counts of offering a false instrument for filing and falsifying business records and three misdemeanor counts of failure to pay wages, said state Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman in a news release. He faces 1 1⁄3 to 4 years in prison if convicted, officials said.
He is due back in court on May 16.
The arrest comes after an investigation revealed that Padover’s firm violated the state’s “prevailing wage” law that requires employers and contractors to compensate their employees with wages and “supplements” including insurance, pension contributions or other benefits, or their cash equivalent, to employees performing federally funded construction projects,” Schneiderman’s office said.
The criminal complaint against Padover says he paid wages adequately during the construction project from June 2013 to October 2014 at Kennedy’s Delta Air Lines terminal, but denied workers $268,055.78 in benefits. It alleges he filed 68 certified payroll records with the general contractor and with the Port Authority, pledging Arbor Concrete Corp. was paying the supplemental benefits to the union welfare funds for Laborers Local 66 and Carpenters Local 290, which represented the employees on the project.
But a review of the records by the Port Authority’s inspector general’s office, Schneiderman’s office said, found the documents were false.
“My office will not sit idly by when New York workers are cheated out of their health benefits, vacation pay and potential pension income,” Schneiderman said in a statement.
“The defendant allegedly chose to enrich himself at the expense of his own workers,” said Port Authority Inspector General Michael Nestor. “This arrest will serve notice to all contractors that the PA will not tolerate wage fraud or any other criminal misconduct on public projects.”
Padover’s attorney declined to comment. A man who answered the phone at Padover’s home Thursday night declined to comment.