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LI construction company underpaid 3 workers, NY attorney general says

Vickram and Gayatri Mangru pleaded guilty to stealing $280,000 from the three employees and will pay $80,000, Attorney General Letitia James said.

New York State Attorney General Letitia James speaks

New York State Attorney General Letitia James speaks at Long Island Association breakfast on Friday, Jan. 11 in Woodbury. Photo Credit: Howard Schnapp

A Valley Stream husband and wife pleaded guilty to stealing $280,000 from three workers who were underpaid on Bronx school construction projects, prosecutors said.

The couple, Vickram and Gayatri Mangru, will pay the three workers $80,000, and a judgment order was entered for the rest, Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement Monday. The charges were related to work from December 2012 through February 2015.

The husband, Vickram, and the AVM construction firm pleaded guilty in Bronx County Supreme Court to a felony for failing to pay the prevailing wage and benefits; he will serve 30 days in prison, followed by 3 years of probation, prosecutors said.

His wife, Gayatri, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor for the same crime, according to prosecutors. She and AVM were sentenced to conditional discharges and fines, they said.

AVM was created after New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer banned the husband from working on public projects because he violated labor laws, prosecutors said.

Stringer referred his investigation to the state attorney general after Vickram Mangru created the new firm to keep working in the city while still breaking labor laws, prosecutors said.

“Intentionally underpaying workers is both highly illegal and immoral,” James said. “Not only did the defendants take advantage of innocent workers trying to earn a living, they also took advantage of New York City by falsifying records to the Department of Education.”

A spokesman for the attorney general could not provide further details.

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