Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer announced charges Thursday against a woman who allegedly posed as a labor investigator and issued citations to business owners.

According to the City Attorney’s Office, Nyesha Monique Elam — who did not work for the state or have authorization to issue citations or collect civil penalties for labor code violations — conducted inspections at businesses across the L.A. area and demanded payment for labor violations and labor informational posters. Elam could not immediately be reached for a response.

“Impersonating a state investigator and attempting to collect bogus fines from hardworking and responsible business owners is reprehensible,” said Feuer.

“Every business owner must be able to trust that when someone reaches out to them on behalf of a local, state or federal office, it is legitimate. It’s tough enough to run a business today. We’ll do all we can to prevent anyone who owns a business from being taken advantage of.”

The investigation into Elam began in May 2020 after the Labor Commissioner’s Criminal Investigation Unit received a report from a business owner. The unit on Thursday warned business owners about misleading notices with demands for payment that come from the companies: Labor Law Poster Service, Labor Law Compliance Service, Labor Compliance Services, LCPSS / LLCS and California Regulations of Labor Laws. The companies are not affiliated with the state and are not authorized to issue civil penalties or charge fees on behalf of California.

“Official state investigators will never ask to collect for violations on site or take money in lieu of issuing a citation,” said Labor Commissioner Lilia García-Brower. “Individuals who pose as a California labor investigator undermine the trust my staff builds with the public that is needed to do our work.”

The City Attorney’s office said that Elam has already been arraigned but did not enter a plea. She faces a maximum of one and a half years in jail and $12,500 in fines.

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