Leonid Fridman, owner of the Brighton Beach-based Millennium Commercial Corp. construction firm, has been arrested and arraigned over allegations of underpaying his workers at a JFK Airport construction project, according to a release from Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. Fridman now faces one count of second-degree grand larceny and another count of money laundering, also in the second degree — both punishable by five to 15 years in prison.
The project from which the allegations stem was the Port Authority renovation at the TWA Flight Center at JFK Airport, where Millennium was a subcontractor in 2009 and 2010. Despite the Port Authority and labor law requirements to pay more than $50 per hour for laborers and $70 per hour for tile settlers, Fridman allegedly paid them only $10 to $30 per hour.
And to avoid detection, Fridman filed false certified payroll reports saying that he paid his workers the regulated wages, Schneiderman claims. He then allegedly made the workers cash their checks at his bank, then return the money into Fridman’s own account. Over $100,000 was allegedly moved into his Florida-based corporation, Green Investments.
Fridman’s bail has been set at $5,000. —Zachary Kussin