Pennsylvania contractor pleads guilty to the largest conviction in U.S. history

State College Contractor Appealed This week, he was found guilty of stealing more than $ 20 million from an employee in the largest convicted wage criminal case in US history.

Attorney General Josh Shapiro said Tuesday that Glenn O. Hobaker had pleaded four felony theft charges for stealing wages and health insurance from workers since 2015.

“A month ago, I met some men and women whose wages and severance pay were stolen by Hobaker, and as much as I could to get all the cents they owe under the law. I told them I was going to do that, “said Shapiro. “A few minutes ago we were able to tell them that we had fulfilled that promise.”

According to Chaprio’s office, the company was sentenced to five years of probation and paid $ 20.7 million in compensation to 1,267 affected workers.

“We have undertaken one of the largest construction companies in the state, and now 1,267 people will have better shots in retirement,” said Shapiro. “They will receive salaries earned under the law, and they will protect and respect their work and their lives, rather than being ignored.”

A 2018 survey of Hawbaker’s financial records reveals that over the past six years, money has been sucked up from thousands of workers’ retirement accounts to pay executive-level employees a $ 15 million pension. became. Due to statute of limitations, his office will not be able to charge for theft before 2015.

The company also inflated medical costs with fraudulent claims, pretending that workers were receiving benefits to them under state labor law. Instead, Shapiro said, Hobaker put the difference in his pocket.

In court documents, Shapiro’s office said that the company’s health and welfare benefits cost $ 14 to $ 17 per hour, starting with $ 4 to $ 7 per hour actually paid. He said he claimed to be much higher.

From 2003 to 2018, Hawbaker received more than $ 1.7 billion from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation for state-wide road and bridge construction projects. This was often below the bids of other companies due to the accounting gimmicks used to short-change workers.

And it’s not just the contractors who do that, Shapiro Said In April, his office pointed out that the company was “actively” investigating other cases of violating common wage laws.

“This is the third and not the last of a series of prosecutions related to wage theft and misclassification over the past few months,” he said.

In March, Center County contractor Scott Goode Appealed A $ 16 million PennsDOT project in Clearfield County dating back to 2014 was found guilty of stealing over $ 64,000 in wages and profits from workers.

“I heard directly from law-abiding contractors that this enforcement would help their business, and exposing these obvious examples of wage theft and misclassification discourages employers from engaging in the same illegal plans. I’ll let you do it, “Shapiro said on Tuesday. “That’s why my office and law enforcement partners are working on this job.”

He advised workers who suspected that their employer violated the state’s general wages to seek help from his office.

“We advocate for you,” he said. “If you find another business that employs these types of schemes, we will fight for the full salary you earned.”

Washington Examiner Video

tag: news, Pennsylvania, state

Original author: Christen Smith, Center Square

Original location: Pennsylvania contractor pleads guilty to the largest conviction in U.S. history