NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ–Authorities have requested that the owners of two staffing agencies shut down last week agree to allow the government to pay wages owed to the companies' hundreds of workers from their bank accounts.
The assets of Olympus Management Services and AM Professional Services were frozen, after state investigators abruptly shut them down last week without warning, and its owners were arrested on fraud charges.
The two temporary agencies had three of their six locations in New Brunswick. Others were in Elizabeth, Clifton, and Merchantville.
Many workers at the agency have not been paid, or their checks have bounced, leaving hundreds of local families in desperate need of money and new sources of employment.
"The Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor is actively working to ensure that every employee due wages from the Olympus/Atlantis companies gets those wages," said Zachariah Hosseini, a spokesperson for the NJ Attorney General's Office.
"To expedite this, we have requested that the former owners consent to allow us to pay those wages from the companies’ banks accounts, which were seized to safeguard from misuse," Hosseini told New Brunswick Today.
"Should they decline to consent, we will ask the court to release funds for this purpose."
Agency owners Andres and Jenny Minaya were arrested and charged with hiding more than $30 million of income, underreporting the number of employees their company outsourced, insurance fraud, and filing a false tax return.
As a result, many Olympus employees waited to be picked up for work the following morning by their "raitero" (van driver), with no knowledge that the agency was no longer operating.
The employees are understandably worried if they will be paid by the agencies for work they did before the sudden shutdown.
If convicted, the couple will face up to 20 years in prison.
Colon was arrested in New Brunswick and charged with second-degree insurance fraud for the workers’ compensation insurance fraud scheme.
Andres Minaya is being held on bail at Middlesex County Jail for $150,000 bail with no option to pay 10% through a bail bonds agency.
One source indicated that Minaya may try to leave the country if he is released from jail.
Officials confirmed that Jenny Minaya and Randy Colon were released on $50,000 bail.
A person who answered the phone at the law office of Hector Rodriguez, located in the same building as AM Professional Services, could not confirm whether any of the accused were clients of the firm.
Former employees can file a claim with the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development for the wages that they are owed, said Hosseini.
Officials confirmed that the state Department of Labor does not require former Olympus employees to confirm their legal status in the country, meaning the wage claim process is open to all employees including undocumented immigrants.
"A claimant may print out a hard copy, complete it, then submit it by mail or fax… Alternatively, they may complete the fillable PDF version, save it, and submit it via e-mail to [email protected]," said Hosseini.
Deputy Attorney General Reid Caster asked those assisting workers with the forms to "please make sure that the time period they are making the claim for, and whether the claim is for a bounced check or for time worked where they never received a check, is explained on the form so that [the Dept. of] Labor has an easier time calculating the pay."
Authorities hope to receive all wage claims related to the affected agencies by February 27.
Anyone in need of assistance for filing their wage claim can contact New Labor, a non-profit worker organization in New Brunswick, at 732-246-2900 or Unity Square, a non-profit that focuses on a 37-block area in the heart of the city, at 732-545-0329.
Authorities said that former employees of the Olympus/Atlantis companies can find more information on further employment opportunities at any of the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development One-Stop Career Centers.
Middlesex County has two different locations, one at 550 Jersey Avenue in New Brunswick and another at 161 New Brunswick Avenue (Third Floor, Suite #300) in Perth Amboy.