Couple Deny Pocketing Wages of Employees

A Lancaster electrical contractor and his wife pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges that they violated the state labor code by pocketing employee wages on public works projects in Santa Clarita and Lancaster.

Lancaster Municipal Judge Howard M. Swart set an Oct. 17 preliminary hearing date for James and Brenda Paxin of Paxin Electric Inc.

The couple, who are free on their own recognizance, were charged earlier this month after a state investigation indicated that they falsified pay records in order to pocket $170,000 in employee wages on contracts at Lancaster City Hall and a Santa Clarita park.

The Paxins both face charges of violating state labor law requiring the payment of the prevailing wage on public projects. James Paxin has also been charged with perjury for allegedly providing to government officials fraudulent pay documents that over-reported pay and under-reported hours worked by employees.