FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
IR #07-56
November 27, 2007

CONTACT:
Dean Fryer
Kate McGuire
(415) 703-5050


Man posing as state labor investigator charged with extortion and three other felonies

San Francisco - Officials of the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE/Labor Commissioner’s Office) announced today 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 Monday 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 Labor Commissioner Angela Bradstreet. “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. To learn more about the functions of the California Labor Commissioner, visit our Web site at www.dir.ca.gov/dlse.

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