SACRAMENTO, Calif., Dec. 5, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- California construction contractors, the California Professional Association of Specialty Contractors (CALPASC) and heating, ventilating and air conditioning associations applaud the joint efforts of the California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR), City of Los Angeles Bureau of Contract Administration (LA-BCA) and Orange County District Attorney to aggressively investigate and prosecute construction fraud. Announced in yesterday's news release, Shamseddin Hashemi-Mousavi, an Orange County business owner, was charged with 48 felony counts on a public works projects, and if convicted, faces up to 44 years and six months in state prison. The owner is charged with tax and insurance fraud of more than $120,000 and paying less than prevailing wage to some of his employees, while keeping the dollar difference himself. In the media release, California Labor Commissioner, Julie A. Su reiterated the DIR's commitment to work with agencies throughout the state to shine a spotlight on employers whose intent is to swindle employees and workers out of just wages.
The following statements were issued by construction industry representatives:
Brad Diede, Executive Director, CALPASC
"Cheating contractors from all walks of life are getting caught more often thanks to the unprecedented cooperation of state and local enforcement agencies.
"Ridiculously low bids from subcontractors should be a red flag for awarding bodies. With the increasing coordination of these agencies, it's only a matter of time before those who hire non-compliant contractors also will be held responsible."
Robert Helbing, President, Institute of Heating and Air Conditioning Industries
"Running a successful contracting business is a particular challenge in today's environment, where construction represents just a fraction of the state's economy compared to five years ago.
"We commend the Orange County District Attorney's Office for investigating the actions of this contractor, and urge that he be prosecuted fully for his alleged failures to comply with California's Labor Code requirements on wages, taxes and insurance.
"Frauds who cut corners and cause loss of income and protections for construction workers also crowd responsible law-abiding contractors out of the marketplace."
Cyndi Marshall, Executive Vice President, California Association of Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors, National Association
"We represent hundreds of professional licensed and highly skilled sheet metal and air conditioning contractors who fully support prevailing wages and compete for public works projects in California.
"We are extremely pleased that the DIR, LA-BCA and Orange County District Attorney have worked in concert to diligently enforce wage laws in California and are prosecuting unethical contractors who compete unfairly against our law-abiding contractors and skilled workers.
"We look forward to their continued efforts to help level the playing field for good contractors who bid responsibly on public works projects in this state."
SOURCE California Professional Association of Specialty Contractors