Affects 56 workers at eight care homes in Walnut Creek and Concord
Last week, the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office collected $1,153,695.88 on behalf of victims of wage theft at care homes in Contra Costa County. The defendants’ companies are Abraham/Sanchez Corporation and Abraham Rest Home Inc. The California Department of Industrial Relations will distribute the money to the victims. In total, 56 workers will benefit from this action and obtain these lost wages.
The defendants paid back all minimum wage and overtime amounts. The amounts were identified by the Department of Industrial Relations Audit pursuant to the defendants’ plea agreement. The recovery of these wages brings closure to a multi-agency investigative effort led by the District Attorney’s Office that included case agents and representatives from the Department of Industrial Relations Bureau of Field Enforcement and the California Department of Insurance.
The investigation began in 2012 and 2013 following complaints at the United States Department of Labor and California Department of Industrial Relations regarding labor practices at several care homes in Contra Costa County. In November of 2013, the Department of Industrial Relations and the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office conducted a joint operation at eight care homes in Walnut Creek and Concord.
According to a 2014 claycord.com article, on Sept. 17, 2014, “A multi-agency task force led by Contra Costa District Attorney Mark A. Peterson served search warrants on four residential care homes today and arrested and filed charges against the owners of several other residential care homes based on previous and separate search warrants. Four owners and 19 homes were involved in the investigations.”
The District Attorney’s Office filed criminal charges on September 15, 2014. On January 20, 2016, defendants Sara Abraham and Julio Sanchez pled no contest to wage theft in violation of California Penal Code section 487 and insurance premium fraud in violation of California Insurance Code section 11880. As part of the disposition, they agreed to pay back the employees the restitution that they owed and negotiated a jail sentence.
Employees with work-related questions or complaints may contact DIR’s Call Center in English or Spanish at 844-LABOR-DIR (844-522-6734).
Case information: People v. Abraham, et. al; Docket Number 05-152162-4
Allen Payton contributed to this report.