Former owner of contracting business sentenced to prison in business scheme

ALBANY, NY (WRGB) According to the NY Attorney General's Office, one of two men involved in obtaining construction contracts by stealing the identities of minority owned businesses, has been sentenced.

47 year old Michael Martin and D. Scott Henzel, 52, were accused of offering two offered two minority business enterprises, Lorice Enterprises, Inc. and Precision Environmental Solutions, Inc., the opportunity to work with Eastern in a teaching capacity to learn about on how to bid on construction projects.

An indictment accused them of stealing the businesses out from under the owners, operating all aspects of the business including staffing and making financial decisions.

According to the Attorney General's Office, the businesses then appeared to be minority-owned on paper only.

Prosecutors claimed that Martin and Henzel combined and intermixed the finances of Lorice and Precision with those of Eastern and Moisture Barriers, a roofing company also owned by Martin.

Martin was also accused of failing to pay into the employee pension system for over 50 workers, even underpaying into the system $400,000 between March 2012 and February 2014. Both men were accused of covering up the lack of payments.

Both men were charged with failure to pay prevailing rate of wage or supplements, three counts of identity theft, three counts of filing a false instrument, and one count of scheme to defraud.

Martin was also charged with two counts of grand larceny, and one count of insurance fraud in Schenectady County.

On Friday, Martin was sentenced to 3 1/2 to 12 years in State Prison for his previous guilty plea to Grand Larceny in the Second Degree. Martin also agreed to $800,000 in restitution.

He is also scheduled to be sentenced in Albany County Court on Monday after pleading guilty to Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, also a felony.

Henzel is scheduled for sentencing in January.

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