Congressmen urge Cuomo to implement payroll protections following scandal

New York News

AMSTERDAM, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Following the MyPayrollHR scandal, New York legislators want Gov. Andrew Cuomo to support and provide better oversight to protect employees and small businesses. Reps. Paul D. Tonko (NY-20) and Gregory W. Meeks (NY-5) sent an open letter to Cuomo on Friday that asks for action to help the victims of the fraud and prevent similarly unfair and criminal behavior in the future.

“With the fallout from COVID, and already having a huge amount of money stolen, people are losing hope and their livelihood,” said Melanie O’Malley, the owner of O’Malley’s Oven, a bakery in the Capital Region impacted by the scandal.

In investigating the payroll industry, authorities uncovered that MyPayrollHR president Michael Mann put $26 million in payroll funds into his own accounts. Thousands of New Yorkers’ wages were stolen, causing overdraft fees, missed rent payments, and penalties from debtors. Mann was ordered to pay over $100 million in restitution.

Still, the representatives’ letter refers to several Capital Region businesses—including O’Malley Oven—that still have not seen their money returned. And even if they are made whole, Tonko and Meeks argue that New York does not have adequate laws in place to ensure accountability in a way that prevents such fraud in the future.

“Thousands of employees awoke to find that their paychecks were improperly reversed, not due to some error on their part, but because of improper corporate action and a complete lack of oversight,” Tonko said. “Their burdens have only been exacerbated with the extreme financial challenges caused by this COVID-19 pandemic. We must address the lasting damage caused by these wrongfully reversed paychecks.”

Take a look at the letter below:

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