Home / World / L.I. contractor pleads guilty to cheating workers out of $700,000

L.I. contractor pleads guilty to cheating workers out of $700,000


A contractor admitted Wednesday to stiffing his workers out of more than $700,000 in wages from public contracts.


Michael Riglietti fell way short of his obligations to pay workers prevailing wages under the terms of city contracts he won to do electrical work at schools — and now he’s going to pay with a $2.5 million forfeiture.


On Wednesday, he pleaded guilty to grand larceny in Brooklyn Supreme Court. The 50-year-old Long Beach resident will forfeit the $2.5 million under his plea deal.


Part of the money will pay back his workers. He’ll get five years’ probation under the deal.

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His company, MSR Electrical Construction Company, which was once based in Red Hook, pleaded guilty to breaking state labor laws on prevailing wage requirements. The company won 15 public contracts with the city and other public agencies between 2012 and 2015.


Riglietti and his company will not be able to put in bids on public contracts for five years, according to Brooklyn prosecutors.


At the plea Wednesday, Assistant District Attorney Samantha Magnani said certain paperwork pegged the prevailing wages at $89 and $134 an hour. But Riglietti admitted he paid his electricians a fraction of the price, like $13.50 and $23 per hour.


“We will not allow hard-earned wages to be stolen from hardworking employees,” Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said in a statement.

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Department of Investigation Commissioner Mark Peters said Riglietti and his company were “no better than common swindlers.”


Riglietti and his lawyer declined to comment outside court. He’s up for sentencing in March.

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