The Real Deal New York

Contractors shorted workers $1M on NYCHA project: DA

Three men indicted for allegedly telling employees to lie, demanding kickbacks

March 09, 2016 06:10PM


Brooklyn DA Ken Thompson

Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson indicted three men — a contractor, subcontractor and a foreman — for allegedly stealing $1 million while underpaying 27 workers on a New York City Housing Authority construction project.

In addition, the men told the workers to lie to NYCHA integrity inspectors about how much they were earning and demanded kickbacks from four workers, according to the DA’s office.

Mehdi (“Morris”) Dayan of EEC Group Tech Inc. won a bid in March 2014 to perform exterior restoration and roofing replacement at two Brooklyn housing developments: the Brown Houses at 1776 Prospect Plaza in Crown Heights and Glenmore Plaza at 89 Christopher Avenue in Brownsville. Mohammed (“Taju”) Miah’s company, T&J Contracting, was the subcontractor on the bid. Sharifullah Sowpon is the foreman of T&J Contracting.

Under the terms of the contract, the defendants were required to pay prevailing wages, an hourly rate with benefits of $61.50 to $82.31. After 40 hours, workers were to be paid time-and-a half.

When NYCHA sent integrity monitors to ensure correct wages were posted and review payroll reports, defendants Miah and Sowpon instructed workers to tell them that they were getting paid between $54 and $74 per hour, according to the DA’s office. The workers were allegedly paid between $15 and $25 per hour or not at all.

Dayan and EEC allegedly stole over $1 million in contract payments intended for workers. Dayan used some of the money on renovations to his 5,000-square-foot, 13-room home in Nassau County, and on a Mercedes Benz, according to the investigation. Miah and T&J are charged with stealing over $50,000 in the course of the scheme.

If convicted, Dayan could face up to 25 years; the other defendants up to 15 years.

Last month, a building safety consultant was sentenced to one to three years in state prison for sending hairdressers, cooks and hotel bellhops to impersonate licensed site safety managers at several New York City high-rise construction sites. Dusica Sue Malesevic