Government Regulators Caught OC Business Owner Cheating Employees

Orange County businessman Joseph Alvarez named one of his companies in honor of a Biblical passage (Philippians 4:13 LLC), but such religious sentiment didn’t stop him from systemically shortchanging 17 of his employees at senior assisted living facilities.

A United States Department of Labor investigation discovered that while owning Agape Cottages, Inc. and Agape Cottage Care Partners LLC, Alvarez failed to pay legally mandated overtime of nearly $200,000 from 2014 to 2016.

In March of 2015, government investigators ordered him to pay the money and get each employee to sign a form certifying receipt.

(Non-exempt employees must be paid time and a half for any work over 40 hours in a week.)

Alvarez paid the funds, got the employees to sign the form and then added a twist that eventually landed him in criminal trouble with federal prosecutors: He demanded the employees secretly return all of their overtime pay to him, claiming the money rightfully belonged to his company.

Facing a maximum punishment of six months imprisonment, he signed a guilty plea deal last year and hoped for leniency. 

The defendant’s lawyer argued last month to U.S. Magistrate Judge Doug McCormick inside the Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse in Santa Ana that Alvarez proposed adding one homeless person at each of his six facilities in exchange for no incarceration.

McCormick determined the appropriate punishment is a $10,000 fine, participation in a home detention program for six months plus electronic monitoring and supervised probation for two years. 

2 Replies to “Government Regulators Caught OC Business Owner Cheating Employees”

  1. Yeah it’s TRUE they don’t pay the right amount for the caregivers I worked with them before and I’m hoping they will pay what it should be because my mom working with them with Joseph Alvarez co partner in bussiness they pay only $100.00 a day my mom love her job that’s why she’s still there .

  2. My mother is currently a resident at one of his homes. Today, she texted me that he had come in and verbally abused her. This is a woman in her late seventies. I feel like there is more to this story than cheating employees.

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