A Salem, Virginia, business owner pleaded no contest to multiple counts of felony wage fraud and received a nine year suspended sentence. Edward Couvrette, owner of Couvrette Building Systems/CJWA, also received probation, and will have to pay restitution of over $200,000. The company failed to pay employees all wages owed over a period of about eight months. The company and Couvrette personally filed for bankruptcy in 2015. Couvrette placed blame on the company’s ex-CFO, who went to prison in 2009 for defrauding the company.
Although this case involved the business owner, under FLSA, a variety of entities can be held responsible for wage payments violations, including supervisors who exercise control related to the violation, corporate officers who exercise operational control, and corporate alter egos and successors.