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Deol owns Laser Electrical Contracting Inc. in Woodside.
By Forum Staff
A Queens County grand jury has indicted a business owner Jagdeep Deol, 36, of 262 nd
Street in Glen Oaks, and his company, Laser Electrical Contracting Inc, on charges of grand larceny, failure to pay prevailing wages, scheme to defraud and other crimes for underpaying employees assigned to work on public works projects in New York City public schools. Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz, along with the New York City Department of Investigation Commissioner Margaret Garnett, made the announcement late last week that from 2014 through 2018, the defendants had contracts with the New York City School Construction Authority and the New York City Department of Education worth millions to do electrical work in City schools.
District Attorney Katz noted that Deol had “…bilked his hard- working employees out of more than $1.5 million in wages. Thanks to a number of employees coming forward to report the alleged wrong-doing, the matter was investigated and 11 workers in all were allegedly cheated. The defendant will be held accountable for this alleged malfeasance.”
“These defendants underpaid employees through a variety of schemes, including falsely inflating the hourly rate paid, failing to pay benefits, and then submitting hundreds of materially false certified payroll reports to the New York City School Construction Authority and the City Department of Education, resulting in the theft of more than $1.5 million in workers’ wages, according to the charges and court documents,” Commissioner Garnett said. “This kind of criminal behavior is a priority for DOI because it exploits workers, wastes government money, and harms competing businesses who are playing by the rules. DOI thanks the Queens District Attorney’s Office for its partnership on this matter.”
The defendant is charged in a 66-count indictment with grand larceny in the second degree, failure to pay prevailing wages, scheme to defraud in the first degree, offering a false instrument for filing in the first degree and falsifying business records in the first degree. The defendant was arraigned before Queens Supreme Court Justice Barry S. Kron who released Deol on his own recognizance and ordered him to return to court on April 6, 2020. If convicted, he faces a minimum of probation to up to 15 years in prison.
According to the charges, the defendant had numerous public works contracts with the SCA and the DOE and additionally worked as a subcontractor for the SCA.
For the time period of 2014 through 2018, under all the contracts the defendant failed to pay at least 11 employees the proper prevailing wage totaling more than $1.5 million.
In February 2018, a number of employees reported that they had been underpaid. An investigation followed with reviews of payroll records and interviews with employees. It was determined that the workers’ checks were missing a sum totaling more than $1.5 million.
The DA added that, according to the charges, the defendant and the company submitted hundreds of payment requisitions that had been falsified.