Car Wash

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA CAR WASH MOGUL TO PAY $4.2 MILLION FOR CHEATING 800 WORKERS

Published: July 19, 2018
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Workers finish cleaning cars at the Brea Car Wash and Detail Center at 1700 East Lambert Road in Brea on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018. (Photo by Paul Bersebach, Orange County Register/SCNG)

 

A Southern California car wash mogul cited for cheating more than 800 workers and destroying evidence will pay $4.2 million in back wages and penalties after a two-year court battle with federal authorities.

Vahid David Delrahim, of Los Angeles, failed to pay his workers minimum wage or overtime at a dozen car washes in Orange, Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Ventura counties, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

A consent decree approved this week by U.S. District Court Judge Fernando Olguin orders Delrahim to pay $1.9 million in back wages and another $1.9 million in damages to the workers. In addition, he is fined $400,000 in civil penalties.

“This landmark case sends a powerful message that the Department of Labor will use strong law enforcement and litigation tools to protect employees and level the playing field for law-abiding employers,” said Juan Coria, the wage and hour division’s acting regional commissioner.

According to the judgment, Delrahim ordered employees, many of them Spanish-speakers unfamiliar with U.S. labor laws, to work off the clock at the beginning of each shift and to clock out, but to remain at the car washes, when business was slow. The result: numerous hours without pay.

We think we’re Persian!

In other news~

The Jewish National Fund (JNF) will host its annual Tree of Life Gala at The Beverly Hills Hotel on Thursday, October 3, 2013. The event will honor local residents Orna and David Delrahim and feature comedian Joel Chasnoff as Master of Ceremonies. Cocktail reception and silent auction will begin at 5:30 pm and the program will follow at 6:30 pm.

“We are proud to be honoring Orna and David Delrahim with this year’s Tree of Life Award,” said JNF Los Angeles Executive Director Allison Krumholz. “They are truly dedicated to supporting not only the local Jewish community, but to supporting JNF and the land of Israel and its people.”

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One Response to Car Wash

  1. melgibstein says:

    Catholic church harboring our enemies again. What are the chances this place being another Jew owned meat packing plant?

    Large cash withdrawals led federal authorities to Grainger County slaughterhouse
    By: Marshall Stephens
    Posted: Apr 06, 2018 12:28 PM EDT

    Updated: Apr 06, 2018 11:33 PM EDT

    151

    Top Local Stories
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    BEAN STATION, Tenn. (WATE) – New details were released Friday about Thursday’s raid on an East Tennessee slaughterhouse by the IRS, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Tennessee Highway Patrol. What initially began as a criminal raid turned into immigration operation at Southeastern Provisions, a cattle slaughter business in Bean Station.

    During the raid, 97 people were found who were subject to removal from the United States. Ten of those were arrested on federal criminal charges, one on state charges and 86 on administrative charges. Of the 86 administrative arrests, 54 were placed in detention and 32 were released.

    Read more: ICE raids Grainger County meat packing plant

    Large Cash Withdrawals
    A search warrant affidavit obtained by WATE 6 On Your Site revealed that federal authorities were tipped off by bank employees about large cash withdrawals from Citizens Bank in Morristown made by employees of Southeastern Provisions. An investigation revealed that James Brantley, who is the president of Southeastern Provisions and his wife Pamela Brantley, along with their daughter Kelsey Brantley and Priscilla Keck, an employee, were withdrawing cash to pay employees at the slaughterhouse.

    Read more: See the full search warrant affidavit

    When bank employees questioned the transactions, the affidavit said they were told the cash was used for payroll. Investigators say $25 million in cash was withdrawn from the bank accounts beginning in 2008.

    According to the affidavit, when bank officials toured the slaughterhouse in December 2016, they were told most of the employees were Hispanic and paid weekly in cash. Officials also saw a bank vault being readied for installation.

    video
    Families seek refuge after…
    A Confidential Informant
    A confidential informant working for law enforcement was hired by Southeastern Provisions and told law enforcement he never completed any paperwork nor was he required to show any identification or documentation before being hired. The informant said he was told he didn’t need a lawful identity to work at the company. He also reported he was paid in cash given to him in an envelope. The informant said most of the 60-70 employees he saw working were Hispanic.

    The production workers were required to work overtime without being paid extra for their overtime hours, according to the informant. He said they were also required to work with harsh chemicals, including bleach mixed with other cleaning agents, without proper eye protection.

    The informant told officials he knew several of the employees used to work at another meatpacking plant in Morristown, but were fired because their paperwork was fraudulent.

    Payroll Tax Issues
    Multiple withdrawals of more than $100,000 were made from Southeastern Provisions bank accounts, according to the affidavit. On IRS forms, Southeastern Provisions reported only 44 employees to the government. But based on aerial surveillance, 87 vehicles were found parked at the plant, leading authorities to believe the plant was employing 30-40 more undocumented immigrants.

    Using numbers from the investigation, officials estimate that if Southeastern Provisions had properly reported wages to the IRS, they would have an additional $2.5 million payroll taxes from 2013-2016 on top of what they had already paid, according to the affidavit.

    As part of the investigation, federal officials seized bank records, employee hours logs, contents of any vaults at the business, employee files and other documents.

    Family Members Wait
    After the raid Thursday, detained workers were taken to the National Guard Armory in Morristown.

    Dozens of families stood across the street from the armory on Thursday. Some waited for hours to see if their loved ones were going to be released. Maria and Michelle Farias hoped to see their cousin walk out.

    “It’s really frustrating for us because one of our family members are going to be detained or may be even deported, so it’s been hard on our families,” said Maria Farias.

    Community members kept a running list of workers still inside in armory. On Thursday afternoon, roughly 100 names were on it.

    “I don’t think it’s fair. I don’t think it’s fair because it’s not something bad that these people are doing and now they are being separated from their families,” said Veronica Galvan.

    A Tennessee Immigration & Refugee Rights Coalition representative said the detained immigrants are not at the National Guard Armory. She said typically in this cases, immigrants are moved to Alabama and then transported to the ICE facility in Louisiana.

    Anyone seeking information about relatives who may have been detained should call (888) 351-4024. Families can also visit the ICE detainee locator website for more information by clicking here.

    How You Can Help
    St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Morristown is collecting donations for families who lost their breadwinners to the raid. You can donate nonperishable food or toiletries by bringing it by the church. Monetary donations can also be made; those donations will be distributed to people in need by a committee at St. Patrick’s. Checks can be made out to St. Patrick’s Church with “Hispanic Emergency” in the memo line.

    Professional counselors are also needed.

    You can take donations to St. Patrick’s Church at 2518 W Andrew Johnson Hwy in Morristown.

    This is a developing story. Stay with WATE 6 On Your Side for updates.

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