The Real Deal New York

Brooklyn construction firm will forfeit $2.5M for underpaying workers

MSR Electrical pleaded guilty to grand larceny and violating prevailing wage rules
By Eddie Small | November 15, 2017 02:15PM

Creedmoor Psychiatric Center (Credit: Jim.henderson)

A Brooklyn construction company has admitted to underpaying its workers and will forfeit $2.5 million because of it.

MSR Electrical Construction Company and its head, 50-year-old Michael Riglietti, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to grand larceny and violating New York’s prevailing wage requirements, according to the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office. On multiple projects, the firm was supposed to pay its workers $54 an hour plus benefits, but these workers instead got between $13.50 and $25 per hour with no overtime or benefits, officials said.

Riglietti will be sentenced to five years’ probation, and his company will be banned from public works contracts for five years and forfeit $2.5 million. Five of MSR’s workers will get more than $700,000 of the money, while the rest will go to city and state agencies.

MSR received 15 public works contracts between December 2012 and December 2015, according to the DA. The company worked at 13 public schools, five MTA locations and the Creedmoor Psychiatric Center in Queens.

Riglietti did not respond to a request for comment.

“This decision to steal wages turned out to be a very costly theft for these defendants,” acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said in a statement, “and should serve as notice to others considering cheating employees that they will be prosecuted.”