The owner of a Bronx bakery was arraigned in State Supreme Court on 44 felony and 240 misdemeanor counts after being accused of cheating his workers out of fair pay and overtime. To make matters worse, according to investigators the owner, Walter Galiano, 57, fired or threatened several of his workers when authorities began looking into the matter.
The investigation was prompted by an anonymous tip in 2007 from a worker at Mr. Galiano’s Arthur Avenue Bakery. Authorities issued a stop work order for the bakery in 2008, but work at the establishment continued illegally.
The challenges in this case resulted in the case being handed over to Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo in August of last year. As a result of the Attorney General’s investigation, the bakery owner is facing 44 felony and 240 misdemeanor counts. His illegal acts include insurance fraud, minimum wage law violations, tax fraud, and illegal withholding of wages.
Not only was Galiano underpaying workers – paying some only $55 a day for 10 to 12 hours – but he failed to secure workers’ compensation insurance and bullied workers into retracting statements given to the Department of Labor.
Galiano’s bail was set at $50,000 bond or $25,000 cash; he faces a $5,000 fine and up to four years in prison if found guilty of the charges against him.