Oakland Contractor Arrested for Wage Theft, Insurance Fraud

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The owner and two employees of an Oakland Construction Company, NBC General Contractors Inc., have been charged with wage theft and insurance fraud for allegedly defrauding workers, the state and their workers comp insurance carrier out of millions of dollars, authorities said. (May 26, 2009)

According to the state Department of Insurance and Alameda County prosecutors, workers of NBC General Contractors Inc. were paid only a small fraction of legal wages for public works projects and worked ten to twelve hours each day, six to seven days per week, and did not receive overtime pay.

The warrant alleges that the company did not pay the proper prevailing wages, overtime or sick leave to employees, and owes workers an estimated $3.6 million in unpaid wages to 19 employees.

NBC also allegedly misclassified the type of work their employees were performing and falsely reported the hourly wage of more than 70 employees, investigators said.  The alleged false reporting resulted in a total loss of premiums of more than $1.45 million to the State Compensation Insurance Fund.

NBC General Contractors performed work on more than 27 major public construction projects for Oakland, Peralta College, Oakland Unified Schools, Fremont Unified School, Mount Diablo Unified Schools and the County of Alameda.

The arrest comes some 10 months after former NBC employees, with the aid of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 595 and the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA), filed a suit seeking restitution of unpaid wages. Carpenters, inside wiremen, and plumbers were also some of the construction workers covered in the class action complaint.