Security guard patrolling commercial building

Union City security firm accused of cheating workers out of $800,000 in wages

One of the most common types of labor law violations in California is wage theft. Wage theft occurs when an employer deliberately fails to pay workers their wages in full. Along with regular wages, this includes overtime pay, sales commissions and earned tips. There are many other forms of wage theft, ranging from not paying workers premiums for missed meal and rest breaks to withholding a final paycheck.

Seemingly small instances of unpaid wages can add up to a substantial amount over time. Because wage theft is a criminal offense in California, law enforcement may get involved in serious cases. Along with taking legal action to recover their owed wages, workers who experience wage theft can in theory report their employer to legal authorities.  

The Alameda County District Attorney’s Office recently cracked down on a Union City security company for allegedly cheating workers out of hundreds of thousands of dollars in regular pay and overtime wages. The business owners are facing multiple felony charges for their unlawful labor practices.

The wage theft was so serious that the office described it as “egregious.” Alameda County prosecutors first launched an investigation into Alfa Private Security Services in December 2021. They found that business owners Ferooz Nangeyali and Alejandra Nangeyali allegedly owed 87 employees more than $800,000 in wages.

Additionally, prosecutors said the security firm owners allegedly committed workers’ compensation fraud totaling $88,000. Both Ferooz Nangeyali and Alejandra Nangeyali are facing felony charges for wage theft and insurance fraud. Ferooz Nangeyali is also facing separate charges for possession of homemade guns. He allegedly gave the firearms to certain workers even though they were not licensed to carry guns and had not received training on how to use them.

However, relatively few prosecutors have undertaken such cases and a civil lawsuit to recover damages remains the most common way for employees to recover what they are owed.  Some employers fail to pay workers properly to gain an unfair business advantage over their competitors. When profits are prioritized, it is hard-working employees who suffer the consequences. Workers who are cheated out of their earned wages have the right to file a wage claim with the California Labor Commissioner or bring a wage and hour lawsuit against their employer.

If you suspect you have been subjected to wage theft, speaking to an experienced employment lawyer can provide some clarity on your legal options. You may be able to recover your unpaid wages and hold your employer accountable for the wage theft.  The San Francisco wage and hour attorneys at McCormack Law Firm have more than 20 years of experience helping workers across all types of industries recover the wages they are owed. If your employer has willingly withheld your wages, you have important rights.

We recognize that understanding which California wage and hour laws apply to you can be confusing. Our lawyers are available to answer all your questions and explore ways in which to resolve your wage dispute. Contact McCormack Law Firm for a free case evaluation to learn more. Call 415.925.5161 today or use our online form.

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