(KRON) — The owner of a San Jose flooring company was sentenced to county jail and ordered to pay over $580,000 in restitution for fraud. Martin Helda, 35, failed to pay his employee $1 million in owed overtime, as well as lowballed his payroll to avoid paying insurance premiums, Santa Clara County prosecutors said.
Helda, who owns the company All Bay Floor, pleaded guilty to three counts of fraud. He was convicted of committing wage theft, workers compensation premium fraud, and Employment Development Department fraud.
District Attorney Jeff Rosen said Thursday, “Whatever you think you might be saving in the short term will cost you a lot more than money in the long term. Fraud doesn’t pay.”
Last week a judge sentenced Helda to serve four months in county jail and 200 hours of community service.
The investigation began after an insurance audit revealed that Helda’s payroll did not match the number of people he had working for him. The DA’s Workers’ Exploitation Task Force, the Department of Industrial Relations, and the State Labor Commission gathered evidence to find justice for victims.
Helda withheld wages to at least 18 employees, prosecutors said. However, there could be as much as $1.7 million owed to all employees, including additional unidentified victims.
If you believe you are a victim in this case, you may file a wage claim on the Labor Commissioner’s Office website.