The owner of an Irvine-based heating and air conditioning company was convicted Wednesday of failing to pay employees a prevailing wage on public works projects and keeping the difference for himself.
Shamseddin Hashemi-Mousavi faces up to 26 years and eight months in prison, with sentencing set for Jan. 8, according to Deputy District Attorney Donde McCament.
He is the first defendant to go on trial in the state for prevailing wage fraud on a public works project, which is “rampant,” McCament said.
Jurors, who deliberated for about a day and a half, acquitted the defendant of four counts of workers’ compensation insurance fraud.
Orange County Superior Court Judge Steven Bromberg allowed Hashemi- Mousavi to remain free on $140,000 bail until sentencing. The legal resident from Iran does not have a passport and has not seen family there for 15 years, he said.
Hashemi-Mousavi told the judge he is still working in the field on a public works project for the VA hospital in Long Beach.
From 2009 to 2012, the defendant had two public works projects in Los Angeles in which he shorted some employees on their prevailing wage and pocketed the difference, McCament said.
Hashemi-Mousavi was also convicted of forging and falsifying bank records to cover up the crime, McCament said. He was charged with committing more than $120,000 in insurance and tax fraud.
— City News Service