MES Owner Charged with Scamming Employees out of $10,000
Jason Praus, 45, owner of Mining Electrical Services, LLC, is accused of taking more than $10,000 from employee pay checks and keeping what should have been employee retirement funds for himself.
The money was reportedly withheld in small percentages from two employee paychecks over the course of eight years, according to an affidavit of probable cause filed in the case.
Both employees enrolled in a 401K program with a retirement service between 2010 and 2011, with Praus promising to match and deposit the withheld funds into each employee’s retirement account.
In spring of 2016, both employees noticed that the money that had been withdrawn from their respective paychecks had not been deposited into their retirement account, court documents say.
The employees reportedly discussed the matter with Praus numerous times, and, because MES was suffering through a difficult financial situation, wanted to give Praus time to pay back what was taken.
Earlier this year, Praus told both employees that the IRS was now involved and they would have to “get in line” if they wanted money, court documents say.
When the employees mentioned they would get law enforcement involved, Praus reportedly responded with “do what you have to do.”
Between December 2016 and October 2017, Praus allegedly withheld an estimated $9,875 from one employee’s paychecks.
In that same time frame, Praus reportedly withheld $1,745 from another employee’s paycheck.
None of the withheld funds were deposited into the two employees’ individual retirement accounts, according to court documents.
Praus is charged with two counts of felony obtaining goods by false pretenses; each count is punishable 10 years imprisonment, a fine of not more than $10,000, or both.