An Orange County construction firm owner and his project administrator have been charged with defrauding employees after allegedly taking $330,000 in wages from two public works contracts, authorities said Monday.
Mustafa Mohamed Bdaiwi, 41, who owns Malcon Civils Inc., is accused of submitting fraudulent and false payroll records in connection with projects for the the cities of Irvine and Hemet, according to the Orange County district attorney's office. Antonio Naranjo Jr., 40, is also charged with embezzling funds from the two projects.
Bdaiwi and Naranjo allegedly required workers to give back a portion of their wages and threatened to fire them if they refused, according to prosecutors.
Bdaiwi is an Irvine resident, and Naranjo lives in Costa Mesa. They are scheduled for a pretrial hearing Jan. 3 at the Central Justice Center in Santa Ana.
They are charged with 11 felony counts in connection with the two projects and face up to 12 years and four months in state prison if convicted on all the counts, prosecutors said.