CALIFORNIA (KTXL) – Release of California Attorney General Rob Bonta the 2nd Annual State Labor Day Report highlighting actions his office has taken over the past year against employers known or alleged to have abused employees.
Through the state’s Task Force on Tax Clawback in the Underground Economy (TRUE), Bonta said his office “cracks down on white-collar crime, protecting the dignity of California’s workforce.” and detailed numerous cases his office had overseen.
Bonta also laid out details of a deal with Amazon the state reached after finding the company’s COVID-19 notices insufficient.
Rainbow Bright human trafficking case
The report touted the conviction of three family members who ran a residential and adult childcare business for nearly a decade that targeted Filipinos, many of whom had just immigrated to the United States.
In a June press release announcing the convictions, the state said owners Joshua Gamos, Noel Gamos and Carlina Gamos “trafficked numerous victims using threats of arrest and deportation, false promises immigration assistance” and confiscated some passports. The attorney general’s office said one of the family members, Joshua Gamos, also physically assaulted one of the victims.
“The jury found that the defendants took more than $500,000 in the commission of the scheme; the victims were vulnerable; and that the defendants acted with intent to cause serious bodily harm and with cruelty, malice and callousness,” the press release read.
$893,000 stolen in major labor theft by restaurant owners
Bonta’s report touched on the 2021 indictments of three people operating Japanese restaurants accused of stealing nearly $900,000 in wages from employees and evading more than $459,000 in sales and payroll.
The attorney general’s office alleged that David Tai Leung and Wendy Lai Ip defrauded 34 employees over the years, some out of tens of thousands of dollars.
“We take our responsibility to protect workers and taxpayer dollars seriously, and we look forward to proving these allegations in court,” Bonta said of the case.
Guilty pleas obtained in statewide sex trafficking ring
The report refers to a case in which three members of a statewide sex trafficking ring pleaded guilty to various charges related to their involvement in a statewide sex trafficking ring. .
Bonta’s office said the effort to break up the sex trafficking operation resulted in the “rescue of more than a dozen suspected survivors.”
Pengcheng Cai, Dafeng Wen and Peishin Lee were three of the six people believed to be involved. Another pleaded guilty and charges against the other two are still pending, according to the attorney general’s office.
Thai Original BBQ UI Tax Avoidance
The report also mentioned the conviction of Chaturonk Ngamary Jr., owner of several Thai Original BBQ restaurants in Los Angeles and the Bay Area, for failing to report $7.5 million in sales and $2.9 million government salaries.
Sanjutha Hantanachaikul, owner of a Thai Original BBQ restaurant, was also charged with tax evasion. She pleaded guilty to filing false tax returns.
Before being sentenced, Ngamary paid back $1.5 million in restitution to the state and insurance companies. Prior to sentencing, Hantanchaikul repaid $6,751.29.
The report says their actions “defrauded the state of workers’ compensation insurance, undermining the general fund.”
Stopping Amazon COVID-19 Notifications
The Labor Day report also summarized California’s “first stipulated judgment of its kind” with Amazon.
Bonta said the Justice Department found that Amazon was not providing employees and health authorities with sufficient advance notice of COVID-19 cases at their facilities.
As a result, Amazon was ordered to notify employees within one day of the exact number of new COVID-19 cases at their workplaces, to properly inform workers of the safety plan and practices. company’s COVID-19, to notify health agencies of COVID-19 cases within 48 hours and pay $500,000”toward the enforcement of California consumer protection laws.“
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