NY Restaurant Owners Face Over 400 Charges
Owners of the Saigon Grill restaurants in Manhattan, New York have just been charged with over 400 counts of criminal acts, including fraud, minimum wage violations and witness tampering. Simon and Michelle Nget, the owners of the two trendy Asian eateries, have pled not guilty to all charges.
Details of the Ngets’ Alleged Crimes
According to authorities, the Ngets have committed a series of felonies over the past few years. Among their most prevalent crimes were violating minimum wage laws and creating false business documents.
In the upcoming trial, prosecutors plan on proving that:
- Many of the restaurants’ delivery men were obligated to work over 65 hours each week for less than $2 per hour, a rate that is less than half of New York’s minimum wage, $4.60, for tip-earning food service workers.
- Employees were forced to illegal pay fines when they violated restaurant policy.
While this can be a legitimate practice in particular circumstances, according to prosecutors, the Ngets’ so-called “policies” were absurd, and the associated fees were illegal and obscenely high. Between $20 and $200 would be deducted from workers’ paychecks upon policy violations.
In one notable example, the Ngets allegedly charged a worker for letting a door slam as he left the restaurant.
Defendants Charged With Class E Felonies
Along with these minimum wage violations, each defendant has also been indicted on the following Class E felonies:
- 151 charges of falsifying business records
- 127 counts of failing to keep records
- 46 counts of intentionally filing false information with a government office
- 45 charges of tampering with physical evidence
- 16 counts of accepting bribes
- 11 counts of failure to pay wages.
Defense lawyers for the Ngets have stated that none of the alleged charges is valid and that restaurant employees are lying about such criminal acts. Currently, Simon Nget is free on a $50,000 bail bond. Michelle Nget is free on a $20,000 bail bond.
(Source: New York Times)
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