Fourth and last defendant pleads in employee misclassification case | Information
MEDIA COURT >> An employee of a York construction company who mistakenly classified employees as “independent contractors” in an attempt to avoid paying taxes was sentenced to more than 34 months probation on Friday after alleging conspiracy to steal through illegal ingestion and improper use Classification of Employees Had Guilty
Angelita Paulin-Santos, 39, from the 600 block on Smith Street in York, was an accountant for G&R Drywall and Framing LLC, according to defense attorney Anser Ahmad. She was indicted earlier this year along with business owner Armando Garcia-Ramirez, 55, of the 2100 block of S. Queen Street in York; his wife and business partner Martha Guzman, 45, and their daughter and employee, Stephanie Garcia-Ramirez, 26.
According to probable cause affidavits written by Steven Cortese of the Delaware County Criminal Police Department, the county received a notice in September 2019 of a possible job misclassification related to building a new LA gym at 2170 West Chester Pike in Broomall .
Cortese and CID Lt. William Wright obtained papers for several of the employees stating that they were independent contractors. But speaking to some of these people, Cortese learned that many of their social security numbers that appear on employer papers were fraudulent according to the affidavits. At least two of the undocumented workers said Garcia-Ramirez knew that some undocumented workers were immigrants.
Investigators also found that employees were paid an hourly wage on a weekly payroll, that none of the “independent contractors” owned a separate business from G&R Drywall and Framing, and that the company gave employees money to buy liability insurance, which was provided by the allegedly fraudulent contracts with independent contractors signed by the employees, the affidavits read.
Business records seized as part of two search warrants executed in November 2020 allegedly showed that monetary instruments were routinely transferred in bulk from the business owners, employees and business address of G&R Drywall and Framing to Hidalgotitlan, Mexico, according to the affidavits . This included vehicles, houses, and US currency that affidavits claim were illegally obtained.
These were the first charges brought into the state under Act 72 of 2011 known as the Construction Worker Misclassification Act, a decade-old law that requires independent contractors to be autonomous with their own business and to ” third-party conditions ”for contractual agreements must perform payment.
Garcia-Ramirez pleaded guilty in February of theft, illicit takeaway, conspiracy to fraud with employee compensation and improper grading of workers. He was sentenced to 23 months with one year probation and was sentenced to pay $ 28,119 jointly and severally with the other defendants. The service period was from December 22nd to February 10th.
Guzman and Garcia Rivera were each given 18 months probation under the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program with no admission of guilt and 40 hours of community service.
Ahmad said his client had lived in the US for seven or eight years and had a daughter who was a US citizen in the military. This is their first encounter with the law, according to Ahmad, and could have an impact on their immigration status.
As part of the negotiated admission of guilt drafted by Ahmad and Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth Schneider, chief of the white-collar crime department, Paulin-Santos will also pay $ 28,119 in redress, jointly and severally with the other defendants.