HARRISBURG — More than 100 charges were filed against a Centre County contractor after a grand jury investigation found that he underpaid workers by more than $64,000 in wages and benefits for at least five years, announced Attorney General Josh Shapiro on Friday.
The charges were filed against Scott C. Good, 56, of State College, the owner of Goodco Mechanical Inc., a mechanical contractor based in Centre County and who worked on public works projects in Clearfield, Centre and other Pennsylvania counties.
The charges are the result of a 21-month statewide grand jury investigation that originated from allegations of theft of wages and benefits from employees on a $16 million public works project in Clearfield County for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation in 2014, according to a news release issued by the AG’s office.
The investigation found that Good and Goodco violated prevailing wage laws by underpaying wages and claiming unlawful benefits credits on the Clearfield County PennDOT project, as well as other prevailing wage projects since at least 2010, according to the release.
In the release, Shapiro said Good previously worked as vice president for Allied Mechanical and Electrical Inc. In 2006, he said the company was found to be in violation of Pennsylvania prevailing wage laws, and was sanctioned by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry for the same practice that Good is accused of operating at Goodco.
“Pennsylvania’s prevailing wage laws are designed to protect workers and ensure an even playing field in the bidding process for government contracts,” said Shapiro. “The defendants are charged with violating these laws and cheating our hardworking laborers out of thousands of dollars in wages and benefits.”
Shapiro continued: “Scott Good already knew that his conduct was illegal because his former company was sanctioned for similar violations more than a decade ago, yet he brazenly flouted the law again and continued the scheme at Goodco.”
“Clearfield County laborers deserve to be paid fairly for their hard work,” said District Attorney William Shaw Jr. “The defendants allegedly took advantage of their workers and violated prevailing wage laws by operating a misclassification scheme inside the company.
“My office will work alongside the Attorney General’s office to hold Scott Good and Goodco accountable for their crimes and deliver results for the workers he underpaid.”
The grand jury found that Good directed journey electricians and plumbers to record portions of their work hours as lower paid laborers, according to the release.
For example, a certified electrician who worked for 10 hours in one day would be directed to report nine hours of work as an electrician and one hour as a laborer. Laborers are paid $20 less an hour than electricians, according to the release.
The grand jury also reportedly found that Goodco reduced the total amount they had to pay towards fringe benefits by crediting itself hourly vacation benefits that employees didn’t use. As a result, workers were reportedly paid the incorrect rate and also had money withheld from their benefits.
The grand jury believes that Goodco underpaid their employees by more than $200,000 since 2010, but due to the Statute of Limitations, could only charge for underpaying more than $64,000 over five years, according to the release.
“Through this scheme, Good was able to reduce labor costs and bid for projects that had lower wage and fringe benefits costs,” the release stated. “The grand jury also found that Good provided false statements about his misconduct while under oath.”
Good turned himself in on Friday, and his bail was set at $50,000 unsecured. He’s currently scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing Oct. 23.
Clearfield County District Attorney William A. Shaw, Jr. will prosecute the case with assistance from Chief Deputy Attorney General Nancy A. Walker and Deputy Attorney General Philip McCarthy.