Contractors admit stealing

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NEW YORK (AP) – Three construction companies and their owners have pleaded guilty to failing to pay more than 400 workers about $6.5 million in wages, authorities said Friday.

The companies, along with their owners, must pay a total of $9.5 million in fines and restitution, the state attorney general’s office said.

Between February 2000 and January 2004, the companies and their owners illegally schemed to pay low wages to workers on construction projects contracted by the New York City Housing Authority, the office said. The projects involved renovating kitchens and bathrooms.

“For too long, these unscrupulous contractors have failed to pay the prevailing wage on New York City Housing Authority housing developments,” Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said in a statement. “We will not allow contractors to place millions of dollars in their pockets by exploiting their workers and the agencies for which they perform work.”

Authorities said the investigation also revealed that the defendants prepared and submitted NYCHA certified reports and affidavits falsely asserting that the workers had been properly paid.

The convictions prohibit the owners and their companies from performing any public work in New York State for a period of five years. An officer with one of the companies also faces the same penalty.

The probe was conducted by the Attorney General’s office and the city’s Department of Investigation.

Authorities say the three involved companies are 4-A General Construction Corp., SNA General Construction Corp. and SSN General Construction Corp. They are all based in New York City.

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