The owner of a Stony Brook landscaping company was charged Monday with failing to pay $13,000 in wages owed to three workers and defrauding the state unemployment system of $12,000 by paying workers off the books, officials said.
Richard Orvieto, 55, owner of Double O Landscaping, was awaiting arraignment in First District Court in Central Islip on multiple counts of falsifying business records and other charges, according to state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
Orvieto faces up to 4 years in prison if convicted on the most serious charges, and may also be fined and have to pay restitution, Schneiderman said in a statement.
"Wage theft is a serious crime," Schneiderman said. "My office will take aggressive action, including criminal charges, where appropriate, against business owners who fail to properly compensate their workers and who try to avoid other laws by paying other workers off the books."
Orvieto fired three workers in 2013 and did not pay them overtime they were due and wages for their last week of work, the attorney general said.
Schneiderman said Orvieto was liable for as much as $19,000 in unpaid unemployment insurance, fraud penalties and interest.