FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, June 9, 2015
Brooklyn Contractor Sentenced for Stealing Employees’ Wages
Defendant Agreed to Pay Back $67,220 He Owed to 11 Workers
Who Performed Construction Work on Townhouses and Other Properties
Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson announced today that the owner of a construction company who stole wages from 11 employees was sentenced as part of a plea agreement under which he paid back in full all the owed money.
District Attorney Thompson said, “We will not allow workers in Brooklyn to be cheated out of their hard-earned money and will make sure that every victimized employee is made whole. This defendant has accepted responsibility and paid the laborers every penny they were due.”
The District Attorney identified the defendant as William Dorvillier, 51, of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Dorvillier was sentenced today to a conditional discharge by Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Matthew Sciarrino. Dorvillier and his company pleaded guilty on April 16, 2015. Dorvillier pleaded guilty to one count of petit larceny and has since paid back all the $67,220 he owed. The District Attorney’s Office will distribute the money to the employees.
The corporation, W.M. Dorvillier & Company, Inc., of 332 Van Brunt Street, in Red Hook, pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree scheme to defraud. Now closed, it was a full-service general contractor which worked on a variety of projects, including construction of residential properties in Brooklyn.
An investigation by the District Attorney’s Office revealed that Dorvillier owed money to 11 employees who worked as carpenters, painters, welders, masons, cleaners and helpers. They variously worked for him from as early as 2007 through July 2014 for day rates that ranged from $70 to $200. He started missing certain wage payments for some of them in 2010. Each employee was owed between $3,000 and $9,000 in total.
The investigation further showed that when workers complained about the unpaid salaries, Dorvillier responded with numerous excuses, telling one employee he is waiting for a check to clear and promising another employee that he will get paid soon, after a big job comes through. He also told some employees to ask the homeowner of a townhouse they were building in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, for the balance in pay even though the homeowner had paid the defendant in full.
The District Attorney’s Labor Frauds Unit initiated an investigation after the case was referred for prosecution by an attorney who represented the victims. If you believe you have been a victim of Labor Fraud, such as wage theft or retaliation, please call our Labor Frauds Unit at 718-250-3770.
The case was investigated by Detective Investigators Jennifer Burgos and Kevin McAleese of the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office, under the supervision of Supervising Detective Investigator Robert Addonizio and Richard Bellucci, Chief of the District Attorney’s Investigations Bureau.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Ugoeze Ukomadu and Meredith McGowan, Deputy Chief of the District Attorney’s Labor Frauds Unit, under the supervision of Felice Sontupe, Chief of the District Attorney’s Frauds Bureau, and the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney William E. Schaeffer, Chief of the Investigations Division.