News Queens construction companies swindled painters out of $370,000 The companies also must cough up $359,747.86 in unpaid unemployment contributions to the state Department of Labor. Three Queens construction companies pleaded guilty to stiffing workers out of hundreds of thousands of dollars, and underreporting their staffing numbers to the state. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Drew Angerer By Ivan Pereira firstname.lastname@example.org @IvanPer4 Updated February 7, 2018 5:59 PM Print Share fbShare Tweet Email Three Queens construction companies have pleaded guilty to withholding more than $370,000 from 150 workers, according to state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. The companies, Lotus-C Corporation of Jackson Heights, Johnco Contracting Inc. of Bayside, and RCM Painting Inc. of Maspeth, failed to provide workers with overtime wages between 2012 and 2017. Additionally, the employers had the workers, who were painters, sign a form stating that they were independent contractors instead of employees, the attorney general said. “Led by pure greed, the defendants in this case attempted to sidestep the law — misclassifying their employees as a way to stiff them on the overtime pay they rightfully earned,” he said in a statement. The companies also underreported their staff numbers to the state, which resulted in major underpayment of unemployment contributions to the state, Schneiderman said. As part of their plea deal the owners of the companies have dissolved their offices and are banned for five years from bidding on public works contracts in New York State. They will also pay a total of $371,447.01 for unpaid wages and $359,747.86 in unpaid unemployment contributions to the State Department of Labor, the attorney general said. By Ivan Pereira email@example.com @IvanPer4 Ivan has been a staff reporter with amNewYork since May 2012 and covers breaking news, politics and enterprise stories. Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Comments We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.