Schenectady Business Owner Arrested For Labor Trafficking
A local restaurant owner has been indicted for labor law violations alleging that she took advantage of an illegal immigrant.
According to News 10, The owner of Thai Thai Bistro and Karma Bistro in Niskayuna, 45-year old Piyamas Demasi, has been indicted by a Schenectady County Grand Jury on multiple counts of theft and labor trafficking laws.
Robert Carney, Schenectady County District Attorney, announced that the Schenectady County Grand Jury indicted restaurant owner Piyamas Demasi for violating various labor laws. She was indicted on five counts of first-degree Falsifying Business Records (Felony); five counts of first-degree Offering a False Instrument for Filing (Felony); one count of third-degree Grand Larceny and two counts of Labor Trafficking (Felony).
According to court documents Ms. Demasi hired an illegal immigrant from Thailand to work in her restaurant. The employee was paid “under the table“ in cash and she was never listed as an employee of the company. It is alleged that Ms. Demasi attempted to cheat the New York State government out of tax payments by paying the employee in cash.
Ms. Demasi allegedly promised to sponsor the woman as an expert chef and offered her a green card. At some point, it is alleged that Ms. Demasi stopped paying the employee wages and had the employee work for tips only. The employee was eventually placed in the kitchen, and her only source of income ceased.
Ms. Demasi allegedly demanded that the employee pay a $10,000 fee to process her visa application, but without an income, the employee was unable to meet her demands and eventually quit the business.
It will be interesting to see how Ms. Demasi makes out in court.