On March 3rd, 2023

Charges in Wage Theft Case Involving Over $800K in lost wages A CDI-led investigation with assistance from DIR and DCA’s BSIS

“This is a particularly disturbing case because in addition to charges of wage theft, CDI detectives discovered unregistered weapons that were allegedly supplied to employees not licensed to carry guns.  The public is so often unaware of the work conducted by state law enforcement personnel who protect public safety, consumers, and the state’s economy.” – CSLEA President Alan Barcelona

OAKLAND —On January 20, 2023, the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office along with the State Labor Commissioner’s Office, the California Department of Insurance, and the Department of Labor, announced that the owners of Alfa Private Security were charged in a case of wage theft impacting 87 employees that were owed more than $800,000 in unpaid wages.

The investigation, which began in December 2021, revealed that Alfa Security owners Ferooz Nangeyali and Alejandra Nangeyali, of Union City, allegedly did not properly pay their workers for both regular and overtime hours worked.

In addition, the investigation revealed defendant Ferooz Nangeyali allegedly possessed unregistered “ghost guns” and supplied firearms to his employees, some of whom did not have a license to carry guns. Employees reported that some were given handguns to work at different sites, including a cannabis dispensary, despite not having a license to carry or proper training.

“The behavior of these owners who cheated workers out of their fair and proper wages is completely unacceptable,” said District Attorney Pamela Price. “These workers are owed their rightful wages. My office will keep a watchful eye on this type of wage theft and insurance fraud to ensure businesses are not taking unfair advantage over workers. I appreciate the collaboration of the State Labor Commissioner, the California Department of Insurance and the Department of Labor for their efforts in bringing these defendants to justice.”

“When workers are not properly paid and cheated out of their hard-earned wages, it causes a damaging domino effect that impacts workers and all levels of our economy. In this case, workers were systematically denied overtime when their employer failed to pay them for the premium pay for the overtime hours they worked,” said Labor Commissioner Lilia Garcia-Brower. “We appreciate the Alameda District Attorney’s Office and the United States Department of Labor’s collaborative efforts in bringing justice to these wage theft victims. Unscrupulous employers who fail to pay workers properly do so not only to dodge obligations but to gain an unfair business advantage over law abiding employers.”

“Employees paid the price of these business owners’ failure to pay fair wages while misclassifying its employees and committing insurance fraud,” said Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara. “Partnership with other enforcement agencies is key to putting a stop to dangerous and illegal business practices. Our joint efforts protect employees, and help ensure a level playing field for businesses.”

Alfa’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier conducted a forensic audit of Alfa’s insurance policy based on information discovered in the investigation. The audit found that Alfa made material misrepresentation on their policy, starting from 2017 to 2021. The financial loss totaled more than $88,000.

Defendant Ferooz Nangeyali was charged with nine felonies including theft of wages from employees, conspiracy to commit a crime, insurance fraud, possession of an assault weapon, possession of a short barrel rifle, and possession of an expandable baton.

Co-defendant Alejandra Nangeyali was charged with five felonies, including: theft of wages from employees, conspiracy to commit a crime and insurance fraud.

“Ghost guns” is the term referring to privately-made or homemade guns, sometimes using 3D printers. In California, a third of firearms recovered are homemade guns, without serial numbers and therefore largely untraceable.

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