Albnay, NY – New York State Inspector General Lucy Lang recently announced a felony charge against an Albany construction company owner for failure to secure workers’ compensation insurance after a new investigation by her office.
The owner had previously been convicted for his failure to secure workers’ compensation insurance in Montgomery County, making the owner subject to class D felony charges, after an earlier investigation by the IG in 2019.
Leroy Nelson, Jr., owner of J.R.N. Construction, was charged with a Class D Felony in Albany City Court for allegedly violating the state’s Workers’ Compensation Law § 52(1)(b).
“Having adequate workers’ compensation insurance is not only the right thing to do for your employees, but it’s also the law,” said Inspector General Lucy Lang. “If a worker had been injured in this instance, the worker and the state potentially bear the responsibility for medical bills, and lost time. My investigators and I will continue to stand with workers when it comes to companies trying to cheat the system, and ensure employers who flout the law and refuse to pay their fair share are held accountable.”
A person is guilty of Effect of Failure to Secure Compensation when they fail to secure the payment of compensation for their employees. The failure to secure compensation for more than five employees constitutes a Class E felony. In this case, because of a previous conviction of failure to secure the payment of compensation, class D felony charges were secured.
An investigation by the Inspector General’s Office found that J.R.N. Construction, which was contracted to work on a rehab/construction project at SUNY Albany, employed six employees after November 22, 2020, without securing workers’ compensation insurance coverage, which is a violation of Workers’ Compensation Law § 52(1)(a).
A previous investigation by the Inspector General’s Office led to a conviction for a misdemeanor violation of WCL § 52(1)(a) in the Amsterdam City Court, County of Montgomery on June 26, 2019.
The matter was handled by an investigator with the State Inspector General’s office and Bryan Richmond, Attorney-in-Charge for Workers’ Compensation for the Inspector General. The defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law.
Source: NY Inspector General’s Office