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Builder Is Indicted
In Low-Wage Scam

A contractor and his firm have been accused in a 221-count indictment of underpaying employees on three public works projects and attempting to cover it up by submitting false payroll records, Nassau County prosecutors said yesterday.

The indictment charges Frank Labriola and his company, State of the Art Construction, with grand larceny, offering a false instrument for filing and willful failure to pay prevailing wages.

The indictment alleges that for more than a year, a half-dozen carpenters and laborers who worked for Labriola's company were paid less than half of the prevailing wage rate on three separate contracts with the Town of North Hempstead, the Town of Oyster Bay and the Port Washington School District. The contracts totaled $1.5 million.

Assistant Nassau District Attorney Herbert Tamres said that last April the state accused Labriola of skirting the prevailing wage law, established to protect workers from being exploited, in a case involving three other employees. That case was settled for $60,000.

Labriola, brother of state Assemblyman Steven Labriola (R-Massapequa), was ordered held in lieu of $25,000 bail at an arraignment before Nassau County Court Judge Donald Belfi.

Lester Likind, attorney for Labriola and State of the Art, said: "I'm confident justice will prevail and my clients will be vindicated."

Robert Gearty

 

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