Cedarburg Landscaping owner charged with skirting prevailing wage law

Violations allegedly occurred in 2014, 2015

The owner of Mequon-based Cedarburg Landscaping Co. Inc. is accused of falsifying documents to avoid paying prevailing wages on projects funded by state and federal money, according to court documents.

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Scott Devereux was charged this week in the U.S. District Court for Eastern Wisconsin with six counts of mail fraud and 10 counts of using false documents. The mail charges each carry a possibility of 20 years in prison and the document charges come with the possibility of five years’ imprisonment. The charges also include possible fines.

According to the grand jury indictment, Devereux signed and submitted payroll reports to the state that understated the number of hours employees work and overstated their wages. The company was required to pay prevailing wages and submit weekly payroll reports on the state and federally financed projects.

The indictment also alleges that understating the hours allowed the company to reduce its contribution to the Wisconsin Laborers Fringe Benefit Funds and negatively affected employee eligibility for fringe benefits.

The documents were submitted between March 2014 and August 2015, according to the indictment, and allegedly involved work on projects on Appleton Avenue, South 27th Street, Highway 67 in Oconomowoc and County Line Road in Brown Deer.

Devereux’s attorney did not immediately respond to a call and email seeking comment.

The indictment does not indicate the wages employees should have been paid for work on the project, nor does it say what they were actually paid. It also does not say how much work Cedarburg Landscaping performed on each project.

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Arthur covers banking and finance and the economy at BizTimes while also leading special projects as an associate editor. He also spent five years covering manufacturing at BizTimes. He previously was managing editor at The Waukesha Freeman. He is a graduate of Carroll University and did graduate coursework at Marquette. A native of southeastern Wisconsin, he is also a nationally certified gymnastics judge and enjoys golf on the weekends.

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