(KTSF by Jessie Liang)
San Francisco, CA – District Attorney George Gascon announced today that Danny Ho, age 53 of San Francisco, pleaded guilty on November 23, 2011. The defendant was sentenced to one year in jail in connection with failing to pay his workers and his misappropriation of money paid to him by San Francisco homeowners for remodel jobs. Ho also was ordered to pay $81,778 in restitution to the workers and to the homeowners whom he had defrauded.
In February 2010, Danny Ho entered into a contract with a San Francisco homeowner to perform a remodel at 171 Lee Avenue. The homeowner paid him over $30,000 but Ho abandoned the project before completion, and failed to pay wages to three workers on the project.
The spokeswoman for La Raza Centro Legal Kate Hege says, “When they waited for hours for him to meet and pay them wages as he promised, but he never came. When they couldn’t pay their rent, and had nothing to eat, and they couldn’t pay their bills, they were devastated.”
In addition, the defendant was not a licensed contractor, he gave the homeowner a business card with another’s contractor’s license number and business name without the permission or knowledge of that contractor. The defendant also demanded from the homeowner a down payment in excess of legal limits and ultimately abandoned the job unfinished.
San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon reminds the public to do research before you hire someone. ” It’s not only how much money that you should give up front but also it’s importantly understanding that you can very easily determine was someone a licensed contractor and also determine whether they have insurance in order to do the work in your home,” said Gascon.
Chinese Progressive Association also advises workers and new immigrants to learn how to protect themselves and fight for their rights. “If workers would like to talk to community organizations, and would like to seek help from the government agencies, we could force the employer to take responsibility,” said Shaw San Liu for Chinese Progressive Association.
Chinese Progressive Association says if workers want to protect their rights, they should know their employers’ information. And then they’d better record their working hours. When their rights were abused by their employer, they could fight for their rights with a lawsuit.
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