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A dollar may not seem like much these days, but the owner of a Jamaica nursing home allegedly bilked his employees of that amount for so long that he collected hundreds of thousands of dollars for himself, the Queens district attorney said.
Harry Dorvilier, owner of Harry Nurses Registry at 88-25 163rd St., was arraigned last Thursday on charges of grand larceny and violating the city’s Workers’ Compensation law, DA Richard Brown said.
For more than a year, Dorvilier, who lived at the nursing home, allegedly lied to his workers and failed to purchase Workers’ Compensation insurance and instead pocketed the money that was supposed to go to the required service, according to the DA.
“The defendant is accused of stealing from hundreds of his own employees while at the same time putting them at risk by forcing them to work — unbeknownst to them — without Workers’ Compensation insurance. This type of brazen theft will not be tolerated,” he said in a statement.
It all started in September 2006, when Dorvilier deducted one dollar an hour from the paychecks of 221 employees, claiming it was for the insurance, Brown said. Employers are not allowed to charge their workers for the cost of the insurance, according to Workers’ Compensation Board Chair man Robert Beloten.
“Every legitimate business owner understands this,” he said in a statement.
In reality, Dorvilier bought Workers’ Compensation for only his office staff not his home health workers, the DA said. According to Brown, the nursing home owner began the deductions after he was audited by his insurance carrier and was advised he was misclassifying his nurses and medical aides as independent contractors and not employees.
The illegal deductions went on until December 2007, and Dorvilier netted $300,000 from his staff, Brown said.
He was released on bail after the arraignment and ordered to return to court on March 16, according to the DA. If convicted, he faces up to seven years in prison, Brown said.
Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4546.
©2010 Community Newspaper Group
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