Drywall Co. Owner Says He Evaded $190K in Payments
The owner and president of Little Canada-based Franklin Drywall admitted Wednesday to evading the payment of at least $190,000 owed in wages and to pension funds and benefit funds.
Philip Joseph Franklin, 48, pleaded guilty in federal court in St. Paul to one count of providing a false statement to two labor-union pension and benefit funds in connection with a scheme to underpay employees for overtime and to underpay the union funds for pension and benefit contributions required by collective bargaining agreements.
Franklin was indicted on May 11. According to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Minnesota, Franklin admitted that he directed employees of Franklin Drywall to falsify time sheets and submit false information to the union pension and benefit funds in order to under-report the hours actually worked by Franklin Drywall union employees.
Franklin also said that he routinely directed the company's administrative employees to report no more than 40 hours of work each week for each union employee regardless of the hours those employees actually worked.
In order to evade the payments, Franklin directed that employees who worked more than 40 hours be paid for excess hours on a separate paycheck at the regular hourly rate rather than the overtime rate.
The payment evasion took place between January and December 2006.
Franklin-who lives in Leesburg, Virginia-faces a maximum of five years in prison. U.S. District Court Judge Donovan W. Frank will determine Franklin's sentence at a future hearing, which has not yet been scheduled.