SANTA ANA, Calif. – On October 7, 2015, a jury convicted an Orange County business owner of committing more than $120,000 in tax fraud and failing to pay employees prevailing wage for work performed on two public works contracts.
Shamseddin Hashemi-Mousavi, 63, Irvine, was found guilty of 37 felony counts including taking and receiving a portion of worker's wage on public works, attempted taking and receiving a portion of worker’s wage on public works, forgery, recording false and forged instruments, and willful failure to pay tax.
At the time of the crime, Hashemi-Mousavi owned AAA-HVAC, an Orange County-based heating and air conditioning business. Between 2009 and 2012, Hashemi-Mousavi applied for and received two public works contracts in Los Angeles County. For these projects, Hashemi-Mousavi fraudulently paid several of his employees less than the prevailing wage in cash or by check and kept the extra money owed to his employees for himself.
Hashemi-Mousavi forged, falsified, and submitted bank records to fraudulently show that his employees had been paid their prevailing wage. He willfully failed to pay his tax to the Employment Development Department. In all, the defendant committed over $120,000 in fraud.
The case was investigated by the City of Los Angeles Bureau of Contract Administration and the California Labor Commissioner’s Office (Department of Industrial Relations).
"Investigators with the Department of Industrial Relations protect hardworking employees who are being taken advantage of by their employers," said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona. "Unfortunately, this happens far too frequently and hampers workers from taking care of themselves and their families. I am proud of the work DIR investigators do to protect workers."
Hashemi-Mousavi faces a maximum sentence of 26 years and eight months in state prison and restitution will be determined at his sentencing, January. 8, 2016.