Investigation into Workers Death Leads to Indictment of Subcontractor

The April 6, 2015 death of a construction worker at a Ninth Avenue New York City construction site has initiated an investigation into the owner of Sky Materials Corporation, an excavating subcontracting company.  After an extensive investigation, owner Michael Cholowsky was indicted for concealing payroll information and submitting false documents regarding the number of employees he hired.  The charges are first degree workers’ compensation fraud, and filing false statements, along with other criminal charges stemming from the construction accident.

During the April 2013 to April 2014 time period, Mr. Cholowsky allegedly falsely reported to the New York State Insurance Fund that his payroll was $650,000 less than the actual numbers, and $3 million less than his actual payroll during the period of April 2014 to April 2015.  This saved Mr. Cholowsky over $1 million in premium reductions he was paying to the workers’ compensation carrier.  Additionally, Mr. Cholowsky reported that he employed fewer than 20 employees to the New York Business Integrity Commission, when in reality, he employed 50 workers in 2014 and up to 150 workers by 2015.

Mr. Cholowsky and the other construction site supervisors were also charged with criminally negligent homicide and reckless endangerment for their direct involvement in the death of Carlos Moncayo, who was crushed by an unsafe trench.  Mr. Cholowsky allegedly failed to warn the victim in his native tongue to vacate the pit when the trench became dangerous.

Construction projects are dangerous in and of themselves, but when there is negligence involved, unnecessary injuries and death can occur.  If you or a loved one has been injured due to a construction accident, contact the experienced attorneys of Levine & Slavit, PLLC to receive the compensation you and your family deserve. Contact (888) LAW-8088 for a consultation today.

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