Washington, D.C. – On August 15, Peter J. Messitte of the United States District Court for the District of Maryland entered judgement for $1,134,886.86 in unpaid wages in favor of The Employment Law Group® clients against Viable Communications, Inc., John Yeh, and Joseph Yeh. John Yeh is the owner of Viable Communications Inc., and his brother, Joseph Yeh, is the former vice president for corporate strategy.
Last October, the Yeh brothers pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to engaging in a conspiracy to defraud the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Video Relay Service (VRS) program, allegedly submitting approximately $55 million in fraudulent VRS claims to the FCC.
Beginning in the fall 2007, the Yeh brothers paid individuals to make phony phone calls using Viable’s VRS service and then charged the FCC $390 per hour for all VRS calls that Viable processed.
VRS is an online video translation service that allows people with hearing disabilities to communicate with individuals through the use of interpreters and Web cameras. A person with a hearing disability contacts a VRS provider through the Internet using a Web camera. The VRS provider employs a video interpreter to interpret the hearing disabled person’s signed conversation and then relays the signed conversation orally to a hearing person.
The plaintiff’s attorney Nicholas Woodfield stated:
After hearing the evidence presented by The Employment Law Group law firm, Judge Messite entered summary judgment on the firm’s clients’ claims without even requiring them to go to trial. Moreover, he held that the president, John Yeh, and his brother, Joseph Yeh, were so responsible for the wages not getting paid that he also held them individually liable and also awarded an equal amount of liquidated damages to the firm’s clients. It was a tremendous vindication of the employees’ rights to be fairly compensated for their hard work.
The matter of attorney’s fees remains outstanding. Prevailing employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act are entitled to having their attorney’s fees paid by the defendants.
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