SACRAMENTO, Calif., Oct. 10, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- On October 9, the California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) and the Orange County District Attorney (OCDA) announced the indictment of Sourin Babayan, owner of SDB Construction, on 42 felony counts. A majority of the counts were attributed to taking employees' money and "recording a false and forged instrument" on public works projects as well as sentencing enhancements for property damages and/or loss of more than $65,000, leading to a possible conviction of more than 57 years in prison. Following the announcement,
Brad Diede, Executive Director, California Professional Association of Specialty Contractors (CALPASC) issued the following statements:
"The fast and efficient coordination between DIR's Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) and the OCDA is exactly what's needed to catch and prosecute underhanded contractors.
"Unfortunately, stealing from employees and coercing them to remain silent isn't that uncommon in the construction underground economy, which is why these perpetrators must be brought to justice.
"Swift indictment of Babayan by OCDA's Donde McCament, Deputy District Attorney of the Insurance Fraud Unit, and Elaine Noce, Investigator from the Public Works Unit, is to be commended and supports CALPASC's focus of leveling the playing field in the construction industry.
"The work of the California Labor Commissioner Julie A. Su, DLSE and OCDA reinforces our message that blatant dishonesty will not be tolerated, and unscrupulous subcontractors will be held accountable."
Todd W. Golden, President, Sprinkler Fitters U.A. Local 709, issued the following statement:
"This is a widespread epidemic and prime example of the problems associated with public works fraud. People must open their eyes and stop this from continuing. We are dedicated to bringing these violators to justice. We must protect the livelihoods of the hardworking men and women affected by these types of violations."
John Upshaw, Executive Director, California American Fire Sprinkler Association, issued the following statement:
"Chronic offenders from the fire sprinkler industry must be stopped. This is a life safety industry, and workers need to be trained in recognized state and federal training regimens that keep the workers' welfare a priority and also maintain fire sprinkler installation performance standards."
SOURCE California Professional Association of Specialty Contractors (CALPASC)