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Boss pays workers after investigation, arrest

October 4, 2012 3:27:30 PM PDT
Just 10 weeks ago, the head of Brightstar New York told us he had no money, then the Attorney General stepped in and suddenly the broke boss came up with big bucks.

"Do you follow me on that. Look me in the eye, do you follow me!" Christopher Luis said.

That was the tough talking home health care businessman Christopher Luis two months ago as I tried to get some answers from him about why he failed to pay more than 100 of his workers.

HOFFER: "What happened to that money, tens of thousands of dollars you owe?"
LUIS: "I do."

Now those workers who cared for the sick and frail will finally get the money they earned. Nine weeks after our investigation aired, Christopher Luis has been arrested for "failure to pay wages."

"He has been arrested, he has been finger printed , he has had mug shot and he pled guilty in court," Asst. Attorney General Terri Gerstein.

As part of the guilty plea, Luis paid 109 of his former employees "$300,000 in back wages plus nearly $75,000 in damages." Home care aide Victoria McLaurin went three months without being paid.

"I lost my apartment, my student loan is in arrears all of these things he ruined," McLaurin said. "I'm back home with my mother now."

She will get $10,000 in back pay.

DelRose McKenzie, who reached out to Channel 7 to help expose her boss, stands to get $25-thousand in restitution.

"I hope my co-workers and friends will see this and know I stand up for them and stand up for justice," McKenzie said.

The CEO of Brightstar New York told us he ran out of money because insurance companies dragged their feet paying him and often less than they agreed to, yet he still kept hiring.

"What was troubling as we investigated this case, Mr. Luis continued to hire new employees even as he still owed money to previous employees who had continued working without pay," Gerstein said.

You have to wonder where someone who claimed to have no money suddenly came up with nearly $400-thousand dollars in restitution. Besides paying those back wages, Mr. Luis will also have to serve 100 hours of community service.

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