Super 88 will pay $200K to settle labor law violations; Brigham’s restaurant and ice cream businesses to be sold; Attorney General cracks down on mortgage scam; Randolph woman pleads guilty to stealing money from Network Engines in Canton.
Super 88 supermarket chain said to have gypped workers
BOSTON – The Super 88 supermarket chain will pay $200,000 to resolve accusations from Attorney General Martha Coakley’s office that it violated wage laws, including failing to pay employees properly for overtime, Sunday and holiday work.
Super 88 agreed to pay $175,000 in restitution to more than 300 current and former employees, as well as a $25,000 state fine. Coakley reached the agreement with Super 88 LLC and corporate officers George Luu of Brookline and Peter Luu of Malden.
Coakley’s office began the investigation into Super 88 in March 2007 after receiving complaints from former employees that alleged the company failed to properly pay its workers. Coakley’s audit of payroll records showed that Super 88 failed to pay many employees the proper minimum wage for the first four months of 2007. Coakley’s office said Super 88 also failed to pay overtime, Sunday and holiday pay from June 2006 through January 2008.
Investigators found that employees in each of the company’s six supermarkets were owed back pay. Two of the markets are located in downtown Boston and the others are in Allston, Dorchester, Malden and Quincy.
As part of Super 88’s settlement with Coakley’s office, Super 88 must implement a new timekeeping system and provide a handbook to employees that describes their benefits.
All employers must pay at least $8 per hour, as of Jan. 1. Retail stores with more than seven workers need to pay employees time-and-a-half for work on Sundays and certain holidays.
Brigham’s sells restaurants and brand rights separately
ARLINGTON – Brigham’s Ice Cream Inc. has sold its 28 restaurants to Deal Metrics LLC of Baltimore.
The 94-year-old Arlington company also reported Friday that it sold the rights to its ice cream brand to a subsidiary of HP Hood of Lynnfield, which will manufacture Brigham’s products. Terms of the transactions were not disclosed.
Robert Wexler, who became the CEO of Brigham’s last month, said the transactions assure that the Brigham’s name will continue to be a part of the New England landscape.
The Brigham’s chain has 28 corporate-owned or licensed retail outlets. On the South Shore, Brigham’s has restaurants in Braintree’s South Shore Plaza, Brockton’s Westgate Mall, Hingham, Kingston’s Independence Mall and Quincy.
The 40 people who work at the Brigham’s headquarters and production plant in Arlington will lose their jobs, a Brigham’s spokesman said. But the other roughly 100 employees who work at the company’s restaurants are expected to keep their jobs.
Marshfield residents among 5 indicted in mortgage scam
BOSTON – Attorney General Martha Coakley is pursuing indictments against five individuals, including two Marshfield residents, for allegedly conspiring to create false bank documents to obtain millions of dollars worth of mortgage loans.
Erik Tancun, 29, of Marshfield, a mortgage broker at Direct Finance Corp. in Hanover, was indicted on Thursday on dozens of counts of making or publishing false or exaggerated statements and other charges.
Tancun’s assistant, Martha Sass, 46, of Marshfield, was also indicted in connection with the scheme. Other defendants include Steven Stapleton, a 36-year-old Waltham resident who worked at Cambridge Savings Bank and Citizens Bank; Thomas Itemere, a 28-year-old Worcester resident who worked at Bank of America, and Kenneth Garabedian, a 51-year-old Worcester resident who authorities charge with coordinating document transfers.
Coakley’s office claims Stapleton and Itemere would produce bogus documents to exaggerate the amount of deposits in a potential home buyer’s bank account at Tancun’s request. More than 40 properties, primarily in the Worcester area, were purchased through the scam, Coakley’s office said. Some of the loans were allegedly used by straw borrowers to flip properties for a profit.
Randolph woman pleads guilty in $100,000 fraud
BOSTON – A Randolph woman pleaded guilty on Friday in Boston federal court to charges levied against her earlier this month that accused her of defrauding her employer, Network Engines Inc. of Canton, out of more than $100,000.
Jaye Mirza was charged with diverting at least $110,451 in Networks Engines corporate funds to her private accounts between July 2005 and June 2006. Mirza is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 8. She faces potential prison time and fines.