Rockland District Attorney Zugibe: Defendant failed to pay employees prevailing wages on several county projects
Rockland County District Attorney Thomas P. Zugibe today announced the filing of criminal charges against Christopher Greco (DOB 07/07/65) of 260 East Crescent Avenue, Mahwah, New Jersey for allegedly defrauding nine employees out of more than $82,000 by failing to pay the mandatory prevailing wages on several public works projects for the County of Rockland.
Greco is charged with:
• Six count of Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, class “D” Felonies
• One count of Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, a class “E” Felony
• 48 counts of Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree, class “E” Felonies
• One count of Petit Larceny, a class “A” Misdemeanor
District Attorney Zugibe said, “Firms doing business with the County of Rockland are obligated to pay their workers legally prevailing wages, which include salary and supplemental benefits. Cases like this demonstrate that we are vigilant in uncovering such criminal conduct and that unscrupulous contractors will get caught and have to pay the consequences for cheating workers out of their rightful wages.”
Greco, who conducted his business under the company name of Cross County Landscape and Tree Service, Inc. and Rockland Tree Service, is alleged to have failed to pay the legally required prevailing wages for at least nine construction workers who worked on multiple tree jobs for five separate County of Rockland departments.
The Special Investigations Unit of the Rockland County District Attorney and the State Labor Department launched a probe of the defendant after receiving several complaints that the company was not paying employees the required prevailing wage.
According to the charges Greco had entered into multiple contracts with Rockland County between 2011 and 2013. As provided by the New York State Labor Law, and under the terms of the contracts, the defendant were required to pay all of the employees engaged in work at the construction sites the prevailing wage, depending on the task performed. Greco’s firm was also required to provide the workers with benefits, such as health insurance, or to pay the cash equivalent of the benefits.
According to the charges, the County of Rockland paid Greco for the work upon completion while falsely believing that the correct prevailing wage was paid to the workers. Instead, the defendant is accused of stealing money from Rockland County that was due to the workers and pocketing a portion of it in violation of the law.
To cover up the theft of their employee’s wages, Greco allegedly falsified payroll information submitted to the County of Rockland. Certified payrolls submitted by the defendant failed to list which employees were actually working at the job sites. The certified payrolls also contained false information on dates and hours worked by the victims.
Including all penalties and interest, the defendant could owe up to $171,669. Greco was arrested on August 1, 2016 on a sealed indictment handed up by a Rockland County Grand Jury.
He was arraigned before the Honorable David S. Zuckerman in Rockland County Supreme Court and released on his own recognizance. Greco is due to return to court on August 23, 2016.
If convicted, he faces up to seven years in state prison. Executive Senior Assistant District Attorney Richard Moran will prosecute the case.