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Contractor Charged in $330K Fraud Case

Thursday, January 23, 2014

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A California general contractor and his foreman are facing more than a dozen years behind bars in an alleged scam that raked in more than $330,000 from their employees, prosecutors announced.

Mustafa Mohamed Bdaiwi, 41, of Irvine, and Antonio Naranjo Jr., 40, of Costa Mesa, have pleaded not guilty to 11 felony counts of taking and receiving a portion of a worker’s wage on a public-works project; two felony counts of recording a false and forged instrument; and sentencing enhancements for property loss over $200,000, according to a release by the Orange County District Attorney’s office.

Antonio Naranjo Jr.
Orange County District Attorney

Antonio Naranjo Jr., 40, and his boss are charged with embezzling funds from two public projects in California.

Prosecutors say the case involves two separate public projects in the cities of Irvine and Hemet.

Bdaiwi, the owner of Malcon Civils Inc., and Naranjo Jr., his project foreman, were awarded the city contracts in late 2010.

Wage Fraud Scheme

Between Jan. 11, 2011, and Aug. 10, 2011, Bdaiwi and Naranjo Jr. are accused of requiring their employees to return a portion of their wages and threatening to terminate their employment if they did not comply.

Over the course of the two projects, the defendants are also accused of submitting fraudulent and forged certified payroll records showing the correct amount due to the staff for proper bookkeeping.

The defendants kept the workers' wages for their own personal use, authorities said.

Irvine, California
Kevin Zollman / Wikimedia Commons / CCSA 3.0 license

Prosecutors say the owner and foreman of Malcon Civils Inc. were awarded contracts for projects in Irvine, CA, including work at an elementary school. The employers allegedly forced their employees to return a portion of their wages.

The Irvine project involved building a wall at an elementary school. The wall later had to be removed due to “faulty construction” and safety hazards, according to prosecutors. Details on the Hemet project were not immediately available.

If convicted on all counts, the men could serve a maximum sentence of 12 years and four months each in state prison, prosecutors said.

The OC Register reports that Bdaiwi has been released on $330,000 bail and Naranjo Jr. remains in custody.

Company Profile

Malcon Civils Inc.’s website is “under construction"; however, according to a profile page listed on Bluebook.com, the company provides general contracting, concrete contracting and architectural services in Southern California and Massachusetts.

The company specializes in a range of projects, including green buildings, new construction, apartment remodeling and commercial buildings, according to the profile.

   

Tagged categories: Business operations; Contractors; Criminal acts; Ethics; General contractors; Laws and litigation; Regulations

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