For Immediate Release - July 24, 2009

Winchester Company Pleads Guilty, Sentenced for Violating Massachusetts Wage and Workers' Compensation Laws

BOSTON - A Winchester construction and demolition company was arraigned and pled guilty in Charlestown District Court on July 22, 2009, in connection with failing to properly pay their employees, failing to pay the proper premium for its workers' compensation insurance policy, and failing to provide true and accurate payroll records. P & R Partners Construction Inc. (P & R) pled guilty to charges of Workers' Compensation Fraud, Failure to Pay Overtime, and Payroll Records violations. In addition, the company's owners and officers, Elienai Coelho, age 30, of Stoneham, and Rodrigo Silva, age 29, of Medford, admitted to sufficient facts for Failing to Pay Overtime and Failing to Provide True and Accurate Payroll Records. After the plea was entered, District Court Judge Mark H. Summerville ordered Coelho, Silva and P & R to pay over $54,000 in restitution to 51 former employees, $50,000 in restitution to the insurance company, and a $30,000 fine to the Commonwealth. Judge Summerville also placed Coelho and Silva on probation for a period of one year.

In October 2004, the Attorney General's Office began an investigation after receiving a complaint from a Clerk of the Works on a P & R project where the company had failed to indicate payment of overtime to workers on its payroll records. Investigators from the Attorney General's Fair Labor Division and the Insurance Fraud Bureau of Massachusetts (IFB) reviewed the company's payroll records and determined that P & R failed to pay the proper premium for its workers' compensation insurance policy, and that Coelho, Silva and P&R failed to pay employees overtime, as well as failed to submit true and accurate payroll records to the Attorney General's Fair Labor Division upon request.

The Workers' Compensation Law requires Massachusetts employers to pay workers' compensation insurance for their employees. Massachusetts' Overtime Law requires employers to pay time and one half the employee's regular pay rate for all work performed over forty hours in a week. The Commonwealth's Record Keeping Law allows state agencies to ensure that employees' wages are properly recorded. Workers who feel that these laws have been violated in their workplace are encouraged to call the Attorney General's Fair Labor Hotline at (617) 727-3465. More information about the wage and hour laws is also available in multiple languages at the Attorney General's Workplace Rights website:

The matter was handled by Assistant Attorneys General Marsha Hunter and Bruce Trager, Deputy Chief of Investigations Greg Reutlinger, Inspector Nuno Montrond, all of Attorney General Martha Coakley's Fair Labor Division, as well as investigators from the IFB.