its the perfect place to start because there are so many witnesses, and there are so many horror stories
Washington, DC (PRWEB) September 11, 2006
Americas Watchdog, is an advocacy group focused on corporate responsibility & fair play. According to M.Thomas Martin the founder of Americas Watchdog," our nations homebuilders now face what could become the largest tax fraud cases and or Fair Labor Standards Act lawsuits in U.S. History".
According to Martin, national, regional and local homebuilders very frequently use "subcontractors", who are little more than labor brokers. These "subcontractors"/ middlemen often classify workers (undocumented workers) as "1099 sub-contractors" as a way to shield the homebuilder from state or federal tax liability, or allow the homebuilder to avoid over-time pay to employees. According to Martin; "these were not citizens,they had no real social security numbers, and more often than not, they were supervised by the actual homebuilder or their representatives".
Because of the unprecedented nature or massive size of this fraud, the question now becomes how many people at the corporate level might be prosecuted, and how much will the homebuilders and other companies owe the Federal Government or the States in unpaid taxes. According to Martin; "federal & state tax liability could be in the billions of dollars.
Because many national homebuilders are publicly traded corporations, the results of this investigation may also create a wave of potential shareholder lawsuits seeking to hold corporate officials accountable for possible misdeeds or criminal acts.
According to Americas Watchdog, the undocumented workers are frequently put in "crews" by labor coyotes acting as construction "sub-contractors" for the actual homebuilder. These workers are then assigned to framing, sheet-rocking, roofing, plumbing or other duties on the residential work site. At the end of the week, the labor coyote-licensed sub-contractor gives the crew or one person on the crew a "pay check" for the work done-(piece work)-example: a house framed, sheet-rock installed, painting, plumbing, roofing, etc, frequently with no consideration of taxes, over-time laws, etc. These undocumented workers just take what they can get, go to a check cashing facility, split the proceeds with their co-workers and typically send a portion of their earnings back to Mexico or Central America.
Another common situation for undocumented workers is that, the labor coyote/sub-contractor/builder tells the workers they will have to work 60 hours to get paid for 40 hours (with taxes with-held). The problem is; the social security numbers used by the undocumented workers belong to US citizens. Employers are supposed to verify the social security numbers of their employees.
In the State of Arizona, only 1% of all carpenters are unionized. To Martin; "this is a huge red flag". However, according to Carpenters Union officials in Arizona, it is accurate. So who paid taxes on the other 99% of carpenters in Arizona?
In California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Florida, Georgia, Texas, Colorado and North & South Carolina undocumented workers appear to make up the core work force at many larger new residential housing job sites. Martin estimates the size of the problem to be in the "millions of undocumented construction workers not paying taxes and not getting paid overtime nationwide".
So how is it that this has happened? According to Martin, "its all about greed, and exploiting people who do not complain out of fear of deportation". In its investigation Americas Watchdog heard of undocumented workers being described as "Mexicoons" by major homebuilder representatives on numerous occasions.
The US Senate has shelved any possibility of immigration reform during this session of Congress. To Martin this is "incomprehensible" and an injustice to the exploited undocumented workers and the US taxpayer. For homebuilders it is the perfect situation because the undocumented workers have no one to complain to. If they do complain, they could face deportation. Homebuilders and their mortgage banks yield great influence in Washington, DC because of campaign donations.
Aside from the possibility of massive tax fraud and or illegal working conditions for the undocumented workers, there is a third problem. If the worker who built the house was not qualified, trained, or licensed; what about the quality of the new home construction? Who built your house? Martin is certain there are now millions of defective new homes that have been built in the US in the last 10 years.
The nation needs to deal with the real immigration issue (worker exploitation by corporate America), and its time to correct these massive problems. Law firms in every state with FLSA experience, Construction Defect experience or Law firms with experience in Securities Fraud are encouraged to contact Americas Watchdog for more information. Americas Watchdog will fully cooperate with State Tax Officials and Senior IRS Officials in order to help move investigations forward on collecting back taxes and or prosecuting corporate officials involved in massive instances of wrong doing. Americas Watchdog would also like to hear from organized labor to discuss ways they can assist unions with collective bargaining initiatives or other protections for undocumented workers in every state. At the same time, Americas Watchdog wants to assist individual homeowners if they have construction defect related issues with their homes. While not limited to the residential construction industry, according to Martin, "its the perfect place to start because there are so many witnesses, and there are so many horror stories".
Significant rewards are possible for current or former employees of homebuilders, building industry executives, construction site superintendents, accountants or others who have specific proof of tax fraud in the residential construction industry. If you have specific information about construction labor brokers, tax fraud, mistreatment of workers, or construction defects please contact Americas Watchdog at our web site Http://AmericasWatchdog.Com -Corporate Whistleblower Center . Americas Watchdog stands ready to assist the News Media, State and Federal Agencies, Law Firms, Organized Labor, Individual Homeowners and others with our information in the hopes of correcting this national disgrace.