Man Posing as Labor Investigator Charged with Extortion
Officials of the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE/Labor Commissioner’s Office) announced on Nov. 27 that an Alhambra man who allegedly attempted to extort money from a former employer by posing as a deputy state labor commissioner has been arrested and charged with four felony offenses. He was arraigned on Nov. 26 in Alhambra Superior Court and was released on $20,000 bail.
"We acted immediately on a complaint from the employer and within two days this man was arrested and taken into custody," said Angela Bradstreet, labor commissioner. "We will continue to pursue this case and seek maximum penalties as these types of activities undermine the trust we need to work fairly and effectively with employers and employees."
Gabriel Holguin, 30, was arrested and taken into custody by the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department Temple Station officers. At his arraignment, he was charged with extortion, attempted extortion, attempted grand theft, and petty theft after a prior conviction. He faces a maximum penalty of four years and eight months in prison, if convicted.
According to investigators, Holguin posed as a deputy with the Labor Commissioner's Office and demanded by e-mail and phone calls that his former employer, Jayco Acceptance Corp., pay him $600 for hours worked or legal action would be taken against the company. The company had already paid Holguin $143.13 in wages and a penalty of $256 for late payment, although no late payment penalty was due. After receiving several e-mails demanding conflicting amounts, phone calls, and threats, a representative of Jayco contacted the Labor Commissioner's office in Sacramento and an investigation was initiated.
Holguin was arrested two days later when he arrived at Jayco to get the check he demanded.
The DLSE adjudicates wage claims, investigates discrimination, and public works complaints, and enforces state labor law and Industrial Welfare Commission wage orders. For more information, visit www.dir.ca.gov/dlse.