MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas announced the arrest of a Queens woman for allegedly failing to pay more than $64,000 in wages to at least nine employees of her home nursing company, Tri-County Home Nursing Services, Inc.
Linda Cunegin, 72, of Jamaica, N.Y., and her company Tri-County Home Nursing Services, Inc. were arraigned yesterday before Judge Eileen Goggin and charged with Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree (an E felony) and nine counts of Failure to Pay Wages in Accordance with the Labor Law of the State of New York (an unclassified misdemeanor). Cunegin was conditionally released to probation. She and the corporation are due back in court on March 14. If convicted of the top count, Cunegin faces up to 1-1/3 to four years in prison.
“The defendant allegedly exploited her employees by pocketing their hard-earned wages, “DA Singas said. “Wage theft cases are a priority for my office and we will seek restitution and justice for these employees.”
DA Singas said that from 2016 to 2017, Cunegin was the owner of a Westbury-based company, Tri-County Home Nursing Services, Inc., that provided services to home-bound patients. During that time, Cunegin and Tri-County allegedly failed to pay earned hourly wages totaling more than $64,000 to at least nine home health aide employees who worked in Nassau County. The amount owed to the employees ranges from approximately $973.00 to $15,578.00. To date, the employees have not been paid.
The defendant allegedly claimed to employees that she had not received patient reimbursement funds from Medicaid and Medicare and for that reason paychecks were often late. Additionally, some former employees received checks that were returned for insufficient funds. The invoices from Medicare and Medicaid were paid in full.
An investigation was initiated when a complaint was made to the NCDA’s Criminal Complaints Unit. The NCDA encourages anyone who may be a victim of wage theft to contact our Criminal Complaints Unit at 516-571-7755.
Tri-County Home Nursing Services, Inc. is no longer in business.
Senior Assistant District Attorney Mayra Lopez of DA Singas’ Labor Unit is prosecuting this case. Matthew Tuohy, Esq. represents the defendant.
The charges are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless found guilty.