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San Jose Company Owner Charged with Wage Theft

For release on April 13, 2021

CONTACT:

Vonda Tracey
Deputy District Attorney
Insurance Fraud Unit
(408) 792-2580

San Jose Company Owner Charged with Wage Theft

The San Jose owner of a flooring company was charged this week with fraud, after being caught lying that he had only a single full-time employee and not paying close to a $1 million in overtime to the numerous employees who were working for him.

Martin Helda, 33, of All Bay Area Floors, is facing 20 felony counts of Workers Compensation Premium fraud, Employment Development Department fraud, and wage theft. His arraignment has not yet been scheduled.

Law enforcement is looking for other victims who worked for Helda’s company.

“Greedy business owners are banking that cheated employees won’t come forward,” prosecutor Vonda Tracey said. “These workers did the work. They are owed the pay.”

The investigation, in partnership with the California Department of Insurance, began after an insurance audit revealed that Helda’s payroll did not match the number of people he had working for him. As part of District Attorney Jeff Rosen’s recent community reforms, this case was worked in conjunction with the newly formed Workers’ Exploitation Task Force (WE TF). DA Investigators utilized partnerships with the Department of Industrial Relations and the State Labor Commission to find justice for all victims of wage theft.

A DA investigation uncovered that Helda withheld at least $900,000 in overtime wages owed to employees known to EDD, but possibly as much as $1.7 million owed to all employees including those not known to EDD. 

Because of scant employee records, the DA’s Office cannot identify many of the workers, who could be eligible for compensation. If you were a worker for Helda at the All Bay Area Flooring Company, please contact DA Investigator Lt. Michael Whittington at (408) 808-3742 or mwhittington@dao.sccgov.org.

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Last updated: 4/13/2021 4:00 PM