Three members of a Valley Stream family face felony charges stemming from a 17-month-long New York City public school construction scheme that defrauded workers out of more than $280,000 in wages, state Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman said Monday.
The trio — husband Vickram Mangru, wife Gayatri Mangru and son Ravi Mangru — were arraigned in the Bronx last month and are due back in court Feb. 7, officials said.
Authorities said that between Dec. 22, 2012, and April 12, 2014, two companies owned by various family members and operated by Vickram Mangru, underpaid “several former employees” of the two companies by $281,630.09 — in essence, between $120 and $160 daily for work weeks lasting 40 to 50 hours.
Or, as the state attorney general’s office said in a statement Monday, “an amount far less than what [Vickram Mangru’s] employees were owed under the prevailing wage rate.”
Vickram Mangru owned and operated Vick Construction from 2012 to 2014, while his wife and son owned AVM Construction Corp. Authorities said that AVM was created by Vickram Mangru after Vick Construction was “debarred and banned” from performing public works projects by the New York City comptroller’s office for a five-year-period after failing to pay prevailing wages to workers, Schneiderman said.
“The law is clear,” Schneiderman said in a statement, adding “employers must pay their staff the prevailing wage on any public-funded project . . . These defendants allegedly underpaid their employees for years — and tried to evade the law by closing down one sham business and opening up another.”
Specifics of the scheme were not immediately detailed.
The eight-count indictment, filed in Bronx Supreme Court, charges Vickram Mangru with one count of failure to pay prevailing wages and benefits and three counts of first-degree falsifying business records. Gayatri, and Ravi Mangru, as well as AVM Construction Corp., are charged with one count of failure to pay prevailing wages and benefits.
Additionally, Gayatri Mangru and AVM Construction Corp. are charged with three counts of first-degree falsifying business records.
All face 2 1⁄3 to 7 years in prison if convicted of the top count.
Vickram Mangru was previously arrested in May in connection with these charges, and upon this indictment he, his wife and son were formally arraigned in Bronx Supreme Court on Nov. 6.
Attorneys for the Mangrus could not be reached Monday.