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DA: Contractor failed to pay adequate wages earned for Huntington school job

Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy D. Sini at

Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy D. Sini at the William J. Lindsay County Complex in Hauppauge. Dec. 12 2019 Credit: Morgan Campbell

A Queens contractor was arrested Wednesday on charges that he failed to pay 11 employees more than $100,000 in earned overtime and benefits for their work in 2018 in the Huntington Union Free School District, authorities said.

Young Jae Kim, 67, and his company Tri-State Construction of New York Corp., each were charged with a first-degree offering a false instrument for filing and willful failure to pay the minimum rate of wage and supplement, with each charge a felony, according to a statement by Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy D. Sini.

Officials said Kim and his company between June 29, 2018 and Aug. 11, 2018, submitted certified payrolls to the school district that indicated he failed to pay workers supplement benefits and overtime, as required for working more than 40 hours in a week. The investigation showed Kim and his company failed to pay 11 employees $104,000 they had earned, prosecutors said.

The defendants also filed false quarterly wage reporting forms to the New York State Department of Labor, underreporting its wages to avoid paying contributions to the Unemployment Insurance Fund, authorities said.

Kim and his company employed the workers on a districtwide Capital Improvement Project for the Huntington Union Free School District, officials said.

“People deserve to be paid for the work they do; it’s that simple,” Sini said in the statement. “Not only were these defendants allegedly shortchanging their employees, but they were doing so on the public’s payroll.”

Kim's Bayside-based attorney Patrick McIlwain did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday.

Prosecutors said Kim surrendered to Suffolk’s DA’s office. He was given a desk appearance ticket and will be arraigned Sept. 8, officials said.

If convicted, Kim faces a maximum sentence of between one and 1/3 years and four years in prison, prosecutors said.

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