The owner of a drywall company in Marysville, WA (about 40 miles north of Seattle) was convicted of a felony last week for workers’ compensation fraud and failing to report collected sales tax. He was sentenced to over 6 years in prison and taken into custody, in part for failing to provide workers’ compensation insurance for his employees. Judge Ellen J. Fair ordered Mark D. Standley to repay over $2,400,000 for these crimes he committed from 2003 to 2008. The Washington State Department of Revenue (a division of their State Department of Labor and Industries) reported that:
“[Judge] Fair said the exceptional sentence was appropriate given Standley’s crime and failure to make significant restitution. She had given him a year to make restitution, including penalties and interest, to the Department of Revenue and Department of Labor & Industries (L&I). He repaid only $500.”
This is yet another example of strict penalties being handed out for what has become common practice in many areas of the construction industry. As more wage theft and misclassification laws are passed and these punishments increase, owners and contractors must eventually take notice and seek responsible hiring and compensation practices or face similar retribution.