Julie Su, the California Labor Commissioner along with Bonnie M. Dumanis the San Diego County District Attorney recently  announced a grand jury indictment charging father and son team, David and Barry Dadon, owners of the State Street Grill  with 21 felony counts in an ongoing payroll scheme that violated minimum wage laws and California theft laws.

The Dadons have both been charged with Workers’ Compensation Premium Fraud, Payroll Tax Evasion, Sales Tax Evasion and Grand Theft of Labor from 23 employees.

The Labor Commissioner’s investigation into  State Street Grill, on College Avenue in San Diego revealed that the restaurant hired employees to work but did not pay them initially and then paid them less than $5 per hour (California’s minimum wage is currently $8.00 per hour).  Approximately two dozen employees, servers and cooks, were underpaid in this manner.  Many other people were trained and worked 8 hours a day for 7 days, then terminated without being paid for the time they worked.

The joint investigation between the Labor Commissioner’s office and the San Diego District Attorney’s office revealed that wages of over $350,000 were unpaid to several victims, who were initially told they were “trainees” as part of an illegal tactic to underpay them. Often these “trainees” worked well in excess of 40 hours a week, without overtime pay. Also, tips intended for employees were kept by the restaurant.

“The defendants in this case repeatedly took advantage of victims who were in desperate need of income and who accepted an offer to work during a ‘trainee period,'” District Attorney Dumanis said. “The estimated loss in this case exceeds $350,000 and we are encouraging any additional victims of this heartless scheme to come forward.”

If your employer has violated Federal of California Labor Laws and owes you money, please call California Employment Attorney, Todd M. Friedman at (877) 449-8898 for a free consultation.