Los Angeles County
Charges were filed Thursday against two executives of a poultry processing company for underreporting their payroll to workers’ compensation insurance carriers and failing to pay their employees as required by law, officials stated.
Feng Wu Lam, 49, and her husband Wei Wen Wu, 54, both of Arcadia each face 43 felony counts: two counts of conspiracy to commit wage theft, 34 counts of grand theft of labor, and six counts of insurance fraud.
Additionally, each defendant faces two misdemeanor counts of wage theft.
The complaint also includes a special allegation of theft exceeding $500,000.
Lam is the owner of South El Monte-based Golden Food, Inc., and Wu is the company’s manager.
Between 2015 and 2019, Lam and Wu are accused of underreporting their payroll to their workers’ compensation insurance carriers by about $4.5 million, resulting in unlawfully avoiding approximately $1.7 million in workers’ compensation insurance premiums.
The couple also is accused of underpaying at least $437,542 to their 34 employees who debone and package chicken.
“Wage theft takes hard-earned money away from working people and their families,” District Attorney George Gascón said. “Unfair business practices like these affect not just workers but also hurt our community by putting law-abiding employers at a competitive disadvantage.”
“These business owners not only allegedly underreported payroll to illegally save on workers’ compensation insurance, they also failed to pay their employees for their hard work,” said California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara. “Workers’ compensation fraud can lead to higher insurance premiums for employers who follow the rules and may ultimately hurt workers who are legitimately injured on the job.”
The defendants are scheduled to be arraigned March 29.