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Watertown Roofing Company Violated State Labor Laws

Newton Contracting Company Inc. and it's owners, Shaun Bryan and Antoinette Capurso-Bryan, face charges of failure to pay the prevailing wage and misclassification of employees as independent contractors .

Two Newton residents and their Watertown-based roofing company have been sentenced in connection with a number of labor violations uncovered by the office of Attorney General Martha Coakley. 

Shaun Bryan, 47, and Antoinette Capurso-Bryan, 47, both of Newton, pleaded guilty to charges of misclassification of employees as independent contractors (four counts each) and failure to pay the prevailing wage.

Shaun Bryan also pleaded guilty to charges of worker’s compensation premium evasion (four counts) and unemployment contribution evasion (12 counts). 

According to a press release from Coakley's office, Suffolk Superior Court Judge Janet Sanders sentenced Shaun Bryan to two years in the House of Correction, balance suspended for five years. He and his company, Newton Contracting Company Inc., faced the same charges and will also have to pay $100,000 in restitution to Chartis Insurance Agency as well as $150,000 in fines.

Antoinette Capurso-Bryan also pleaded guilty and was subsequently sentenced to two years probation and ordered to pay $74,000 in fines. 

Coakley's office reported that the two "failed to disclose millions of dollars in misclassified subcontractor payroll and failed to pay the prevailing wage." 

More information on the investigation and charges is included in a full copy of the press release below:

BOSTON – A Watertown roofing company and its owners have pleaded guilty and were sentenced on charges they failed to disclose millions of dollars in misclassified subcontractor payroll and failed to pay the prevailing wage, Attorney General Martha Coakley’s Office announced today.   

The enforcement action is the result of investigations by Attorney General Martha Coakley’s Office, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development (EOLWD), the Massachusetts Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) and the Governor’s Joint Enforcement Task Force on the Underground Economy and Employee Misclassification (JTF). 

Shaun Bryan and Antoinette Capurso-Bryan, of Newton, and their company, Newton Contracting Company, Inc., of Watertown, pleaded guilty and were sentenced on the following charges:

Shaun Bryan, age 47, of Newton 

  • Worker’s Compensation Premium Evasion (4 counts)
  • Unemployment Contribution Evasion (12 counts)
  • Misclassification of Employees as Independent Contractors (4 counts)
  • Failure to Pay the Prevailing Wage

Newton Contracting Company Inc., of Watertown 

  • Worker’s Compensation Premium Evasion (4 counts)
  • Unemployment Contribution Evasion (12 counts)
  • Misclassification of Employees as Independent Contractors (4 counts)
  • Failure to Pay the Prevailing Wage

Antoinette Capurso-Bryan, age 47, of Newton 

  • Misclassification of Employees as Independent Contractors (4 counts)
  • Failure to Pay the Prevailing Wage

After the pleas were entered, Suffolk Superior Court Judge Janet Sanders sentenced Bryan to two years in the House of Correction, balance suspended for five years.  Bryan and Newton Contracting, joint and several, were further ordered to pay $100,000 in restitution to Chartis Insurance Agency and $150,000 in fines.  Following her plea, Capurso-Bryan was sentenced to two years probation and ordered to pay $74,000 in fines.  The fines and restitution are joint and several with Bryan and Newton Contracting.

Additionally, Bryan, Capurso-Bryan, and Newton Contracting are debarred from bidding on or contracting for public construction projects for five years, but may finish any public construction projects they had under contract prior to their pleas.  Bryan and Newton Contracting have already paid restitution to the Division of Unemployment Assistance for the unemployment fraud and his employees for the wage violation.  Capurso-Bryan has paid restitution to her employees for the wage violation.

Authorities began an investigation into the Bryans and their company in late 2008, after the JTF received complaints that Newton Contracting was misclassifying part of its workforce. The Attorney General’s Office also received a complaint that Newton Contracting had misclassified its roofing employees as laborers at the Suffolk County Jail Project and consequently failed to pay their employees the prevailing wage rate.

The EOLWD’s Division of Unemployment Assistance (EOLWD\DUA) conducted a compliance audit of Newton Contracting’s payroll records in early 2009.  The EOLWD\DUA determined that Newton Contracting misclassified multiple employees as independent contractors and consequently failed to disclose to the EOLWD\DUA more than $2.4 million in misclassified subcontractor payroll for each quarter during 2006 through 2008.  The EOLWD\DUA assessed more than $52,000 in additional unemployment contributions, including interest, against Newton Contracting.

During this time the IFB began an investigation of four of Newton Contracting’s worker’s compensation policies covering July 1, 2005, through July 1, 2009.  The IFB discovered that the company misclassified half of its workforce as subcontractors.  The IFB’s investigation further revealed that during its annual worker’s compensation audits, Shaun Bryan failed to disclose to the auditor more than $3.4 million of Newton Contracting’s misclassified subcontractor payroll over the course of four policy periods.

The AG’s Fair Labor Division received a complaint that in 2009 Newton Contracting’s employees performing roofing work at the Suffolk County Jail Project were misclassified as laborers.  The prevailing wage rate for roofing work was $53.86.  Newton Contracting paid the workers $44.10 hour.  In 2010, Newton Contracting paid two employees more than $5000 in restitution for the misclassification and consequent failure to pay the prevailing wage violation.

A Suffolk County Grand Jury returned indictments against all three defendants on December 19.  The defendants were arraigned on December 22, in Suffolk Superior Court where each pleaded not guilty and were released on personal recognizance.  On January 6, 2012, the defendants pleaded guilty and were sentenced. 

Newton Contracting and the Bryans cooperated fully in the Attorney General's investigation.  Newton Contracting and the Bryans have reported to the Attorney General that they intend and expect to honor all of their obligations to customers, suppliers, and vendors and the like.

Avery Schlacter March 27, 2014 at 01:07 PM
Thanks for this, I've been looking around for some good roofing contractors. This gave me some great advice on where to get one! My friend actually said that this site was pretty good and that I should check it out <a href='http://www.nmtroofing.com' > http://www.nmtroofing.com </a>.
alena mauer March 27, 2014 at 01:30 PM
I put off getting my roof done and now I think I may be in trouble. I need to get it done before it snows or the damage will be far worse. How long does it take to get a roof up? I hope the snow holds of a little longer. Alena | http://www.economy-roofing.com/services
John Bond May 07, 2014 at 10:50 AM
I often need to have my roofing checked up on because there are a lot of storms that come through here. It's a very rainy city and we tend to need new roofs. Hopefully I can get a new one at a good price. John Bond | http://www.aclark.ca
Holly James June 02, 2014 at 03:20 PM
Thank you for this great post! I am glad that I came across this. I have been doing research on roofing contractors because it is important to have a liable contractor that will do great work without any other problems occurring that you didn't sign up for! I am excited to get started on my new roof and see how it turns out! Holly James | http://www.klukesroofing.com/en/
Bill Li July 03, 2014 at 01:55 PM
Thanks for the post! I never really bother checking on the roofing companies I hire. I was checking this company because I need some roofing done, but now I guess I won't go with this company. I'm make sure next time that the roofers I hire aren't miss-classified as independent contractors. Bill Li | <a href='http://www.masterpieceroofing.com/services_general_roofing.html' > http://www.masterpieceroofing.com/services_general_roofing.html</a>

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