Orange County District Attorney Press Release
For Immediate Release, Case # 13CF3627: December 4, 2013
SANTA ANA – An Orange County business owner was arraigned today on charges of committing over $120,000 in tax and insurance fraud and failing to pay employees prevailing wage for work performed on two public works contracts. Shamseddin Hashemi-Mousavi, 61, Irvine, is charged with 48 felony counts including taking and receiving a portion of worker’s wage on public works, attempted taking and receiving a portion of worker’s wage on public works, forgery, recording false and forged instruments, willful failure to pay tax, and misrepresenting facts to workers’ compensation insurance company. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 44 years and six months in state prison. Hashemi-Mousavi is being held on $120,000 bail and faces a pre-trial hearing Dec. 10, 2013, in Department C-57, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.
At the time of the crime Hashemi-Mousavi is accused of owning AAA-HVAC, an Orange County-based heating and air conditioning business.
Between 2009 and 2012, the defendant is accused of applying for and receiving two public works contracts in Los Angeles County. For these projects, the defendant is accused of fraudulently paying several of his employees less than prevailing wage in cash or by check and keeping the extra money owed to his employees for himself.
The defendant is accused of forging, falsifying, and submitting bank records to fraudulently show that his employees had been paid prevailing wage. He is accused of willfully failing to pay his premium insurance tax and tax to the Employment Development Department. In all, the defendant is accused of committing over $120,000 in insurance and tax fraud.
The case was investigated by the City of Los Angeles Bureau of Contract Administration and the California Labor Commissioner’s Office (Department of Industrial Relations).
Deputy District Attorney Donde McCament of the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Fraud Unit is prosecuting this case.
“This joint enforcement action sends a message to all employers who attempt to cheat their workers out of hard-earned pay. We stand ready to protect both the workers who get bilked out of a just day’s pay for a hard day’s work, as well as every honest employer who plays by the rules and gets undercut by unethical business owners,” said California Labor Commissioner Julie A. Su.
“Workers are protected and must be paid on all City projects without subsequent deduction or rebate, otherwise contractors will face fines up to and including prison,” said Mike Davis, commissioner of the Board of Public Works and liaison to the Bureau of Contract Administration. “We applaud the Orange County District Attorney’s Office as we will continue to work with law enforcement agencies and the California Labor Commissioner’s Office in bringing justice.”
The Bureau of Contract Administration is the City’s lead contract compliance agency that enforces governing laws on City contracts and on public works construction projects. The Bureau protects the City and ensures the delivery of quality construction work. As an independent quality control agency, the Bureau’s dedicated Construction Inspectors and Compliance Officers promote a transparent and consistent contracting environment that secures economic development opportunities for new jobs and businesses while protecting tax payer funds and the public interest. For more information, please visit http://bca.lacity.org.
Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney 401 Civic Center Drive West Santa Ana, CA 92701