Three Restaurant Owners Charged with Bribery of a Public Official
|U.S. Attorney’s Office October 30, 2012|
HOUSTON—A grand jury in Houston has returned a three-count Indictment charging Kong Ji Wang, 62; Kong Sheng Wang, 55; and Ying Hui Wang, 39, with one count of conspiracy to bribe a public official and two counts of bribery of a public official, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today, along with David C. Wickersham, special agent in charge of the Dallas Regional Office of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General, Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations.
The defendants were arrested today without incident and are expected to appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Nancy Johnson tomorrow morning.
The indictment alleges the defendants offered cash money to an investigator with the United States Department of Labor, Wage, and Hour Division (DOL-WHD) to influence him to reduce the amount of back wages owed to employees of the Famous Cajun Grill and the Famous Wok Grill located in the Deerbrook Mall in Humble, Texas.
DOL-WHD is responsible for enforcing the Fair Labor Standards Act, which provides that businesses pay their employees the federal minimum wage and overtime for hours worked. They must also maintain accurate record keeping of all hours worked by their employees. Investigations by the WHD are conducted to determine whether businesses are in compliance with the provisions of the act. If violations are found concerning wages owed to employees, employers are required to make restitution to the affected employees.
On two separate occasions in meetings with the investigator, the defendants allegedly made offers of $3,000 and $5,000, respectively, to reduce approximately $39,143 in back wages owed to employees of the restaurant.
“Safeguarding the integrity of the Department of Labor enforcement programs remains a priority for the Office of Inspector General,” said Wickersham. “We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to investigate any allegations of wrongdoing involving these programs.”
If convicted of the charges alleged in the indictment, the defendants face up to five years’ imprisonment and a possible $250,000 fine.
The case was investigated by the Office of Inspector General, United States Department of Labor, and the FBI. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Quincy L. Ollison.
An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence. A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.