CA: Owner, Manager of Poultry Processing Company Charged With Insurance Fraud and Wage Theft

                               

Los Angeles, CA (WorkersCompensation.com) - Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón announced that charges were filed today against two executives of a poultry processing company for underreporting their payroll to workers’ compensation insurance carriers and failing to pay their employees as required by law.

“Wage theft takes hard-earned money away from working people and their families,” District Attorney Gascón said. “Unfair business practices like these affect not just workers but also hurt our community by putting law-abiding employers at a competitive disadvantage.”

“These business owners not only allegedly underreported payroll to illegally save on workers’ compensation insurance, they also failed to pay their employees for their hard work,” said California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara. “Workers’ compensation fraud can lead to higher insurance premiums for employers who follow the rules and may ultimately hurt workers who are legitimately injured on the job. Thanks to my Department’s detectives, the Department of Industrial Relations and the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, these business owners are being held accountable for their actions.” “Wage theft is a crime that denies workers their pay for a hard day’s work. Many victims of this crime go unheard and unnoticed. This unfair business practice not only steals wages from workers, but also provides cheating employers an unfair advantage over law-abiding employers,” said California Labor Commissioner Lilia Garcia-Brower. “I commend my team and the Los Angeles County DA’s Office for their efforts to hold these perpetrators accountable and bring justice to these wage theft victims.”

Feng Wu Lam (dob 12/11/72) and her husband Wei Wen Wu (dob 10/27/67) both of Arcadia each face 43 felony counts: two counts of conspiracy to commit wage theft, 34 counts of grand theft of labor and six counts of insurance fraud. Additionally, each defendant faces two misdemeanor counts of wage theft. The complaint also includes a special allegation of theft exceeding $500,000.

The defendants are scheduled to be arraigned March 29 in Department 30 of Foltz Criminal Justice Center.

Lam is the owner of South El Monte-based Golden Food, Inc., and Wu is the company’s manager.

Between 2015 and 2019, Lam and Wu are accused of underreporting their payroll to their workers’ compensation insurance carriers by about $4.5 million, resulting in unlawfully avoiding approximately $1.7 million in workers’ compensation insurance premiums. The couple also is accused of underpaying at least $437,542 to their 34 employees who debone and package chicken.

Case BA501947 is being prosecuted by the District Attorney’s Healthcare Fraud Division, with investigation assistance from the state Labor Commission and Department of Insurance.

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