Manhattan District Attorney Announces Guilty Pleas of Company for Stealing More Than $1 Million from Workers

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin L. Bragg, Jr., announced the guilty pleas of Samco Electrical for stealing more than $1 million in wages from workers on School Construction Authority (“SCA”) and New York City Housing Authority (“NYCHA”) projects.

Project Forman Zdravko Maglic pled guilty today to one count of Attempted Grand Larceny in the Second Degree and Bribery in the Third Degree will be sentenced to 6 months in jail and five years of probation on June 20, 2023. Owners, Silvano and Giovanna Travalja, as well as Samco, pled guilty to one count of Grand Larceny in the Second Degree and were sentenced January 5. As part of the plea, they paid a required $900,00 in stolen wages to workers and are now barred from all SCA and NYCHA contracts for five years.

“It is unacceptable to steal from employees,” said District Attorney Bragg. “New Yorkers work hard to provide for their families, and they should get paid what they are owed. Not only did the perpetrators of this scheme take from workers, but they also ripped off New York taxpayers, who thought their money was going to our schools and public housing developments. Addressing the rampant issue of wage theft will continue to be a priority for my administration, and I thank our attorneys for a thorough investigation that has delivered real accountability.”

DOI Commissioner Strauber said, “The defendants schemed to steal public funds from SCA and NYCHA, and falsified payroll reports to cover up their failure to pay the legal prevailing wages. In addition, Zdravko Maglic, the project manager, bribed an SCA investigator with cash-stuffed envelopes to look the other way.  He acknowledged at that time that he could go to jail for his actions; today he pleads guilty to two felony charges.  DOI thanks the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office for their continued commitment to exposing and stopping wage theft and successful prosecution of this case.”

Samco is a licensed union electrical company that had multiple subcontracts with the SCA and NYCHA, two city agencies, which required workers receive prevailing wages and supplemental benefits. Samco instead staffed jobs with non-union labor from two shell corporations: Powertech Electrical Contractors (“Powertech”) and Cro-El Systems Corp. (“Cro-El”). The defendants paid their workers less than a quarter of what they were entitled to and pocketed more than $1 million in contract payments intended for its workers.

As admitted in their pleas, from 2017 to 2021, the defendants submitted falsified certified payroll reports to the SCA and NYCHA, claiming they had paid the proper prevailing wages and supplemental benefits to their workers. These reports purportedly listed employees, the number of regular and overtime hours they worked and their hourly rates of pay and benefits.

If you believe you are victim of wage theft, please contact the attorneys at Pechman Law Group at 212-583-9500. We have recovered over 20 million dollars on behalf of workers who have been cheated out of their overtime or have been subjected to other unlawful pay practices.


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