Central Pennsylvania Contractor Charged for Theft of Workers’ Wages and Benefits

September 27, 2019 | Topic: Criminal

Grand Jury finds owner of Goodco Mechanical, Inc. violated prevailing wage laws by operating massive misclassification scheme

HARRISBURG — Attorney General Josh Shapiro today announced charges against a Centre County contractor after a Grand Jury investigation found that he underpaid workers on Prevailing Wage projects totaling more than $64,000 in wages and benefits for at least 5 years. Scott Cameron Good, 56, of State College, is the owner of Goodco Mechanical, Inc., a mechanical contractor based in Centre County who worked on public works projects in Clearfield, Centre and other Pennsylvania counties. Today, Good was charged with Perjury, Tampering with Public Records, and False Swearing. Goodco was charged with Theft by Unlawful Taking, Deceptive and Fraudulent Business Practices, and related charges.

The charges are the result of a 21-month Statewide Grand Jury investigation that originated from allegations of theft of wages and benefits from employees on a $16 million public works project in Clearfield County for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation in 2014. The investigation found that Good and Goodco violated prevailing wage laws by underpaying wages and claiming unlawful benefits credits on the Clearfield County PennDOT project, as well as other prevailing wage projects since at least 2010.

Scott Good previously worked as Vice President for Allied Mechanical and Electrical, Inc. In 2006, the company was found to be in violation of Pennsylvania prevailing wage laws and was sanctioned by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry for the same practice that he is accused of operating at Goodco.

“Pennsylvania’s prevailing wage laws are designed to protect workers and ensure an even playing field in the bidding process for government contracts,” said Attorney General Josh Shapiro. “The defendants are charged with violating these laws and cheating our hardworking laborers out of thousands of dollars in wages and benefits. Scott Good already knew that his conduct was illegal because his former company was sanctioned for similar violations more than a decade ago, yet he brazenly flouted the law again and continued the scheme at Goodco. I’m proud to work with Clearfield County District Attorney William Shaw Jr. to put a stop to this theft and stand up for workers.”

“Clearfield County laborers deserve to be paid fairly for their hard work,” said District Attorney William Shaw, Jr. “The defendants allegedly took advantage of their workers and violated prevailing wage laws by operating a misclassification scheme inside the company. My Office will work alongside the Attorney General’s Office to hold Scott Good and Goodco accountable for their crimes and deliver results for the workers he underpaid.”

The Pennsylvania Prevailing Wage Act was enacted to level the playing field and protect workers by ensuring that all contractors working on projects that receive state or federal funding pay the same wage rates. The required wages and benefits change depending on the classification of the worker.

The Grand Jury found that Good directed journey electricians and plumbers to record portions of their work hours as lower paid laborers. For example, a certified electrician who worked for ten hours in one day would be directed to report nine hours of work as an electrician and one hour as a laborer. Laborers reportedly are paid $20 less an hour than electricians. The workers reported that if they did not change their timesheet accordingly, Good would ask them to change it or someone would change it for them.

The Grand Jury also found that Goodco reduced the total amount they had to pay towards fringe benefits by crediting itself hourly vacation benefits that employees didn’t use. As a result, workers were not only paid the incorrect rate, but they also had money withheld from their benefits. In total, the Grand Jury believes that Goodco underpaid their employees more than $200,000 since 2010, but due to the Statute of Limitations, they are charged for underpaying more than $64,000 over 5 years. Through this scheme, Good was able to reduce labor costs and bid for projects that had lower wage and fringe benefits costs. Furthermore, the Grand Jury found that Good provided false statements about his misconduct while under oath.

Good turned himself in on Friday. Clearfield County District Attorney William A. Shaw, Jr. will prosecute the case with assistance from Chief Deputy Attorney General Nancy A. Walker and Deputy Attorney General Philip McCarthy. All charges discussed are accusations. The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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