Santa Monica News
Wilshire West Car Wash Faces Criminal Charges
By Ivetta Babadjanian
Jan 24, 2013 - 5:34:19 PM

SANTA MONICA—Wilshire West Car Wash LLC and its parent company, Maxxam Enterprises III, LLC have been filed with criminal charges for allegedly cheating workers out of pay. The complaint is based on a joint investigation with the California Labor Commissioner, Santa Monica's Consumer Protection Unit and the United States Department of Labor.
Wilshire West supervisor, Rigoberto Torres. Photo courtesy of Facebook.

An 11-count criminal complaint was filed on Wednesday, January 23 in Los Angeles Superior Court which reports the defendants as altering employee time cards to make it seem as though they worked less hours than they actually did.

The crime has allegedly been taking place for the past four years and accuses the defendants of violating California labor laws for crimes such as lacking legitimate rest and meal breaks for workers. In addition, city prosecutors state that the defendants were "coercing employees into signing declarations which falsely stated that they had received paid breaks."

Names that were included in the charges were those of the owner of the businesses, Mehdi Soroudi, general manager Gary Pendleton and supervisors Rigoberto Torres and Remberto Viramontes.

All 11 charges are considered misdemeanors and can result in a maximum penalty of one year in County Jail and maximum fines between $1,000 and $10,000 per charge. The defendants will be arraigned in the Los Angeles Superior Court, Airport courthouse, on February 26.

Wilshire West is located at 2320 Wilshire Boulevard and is the third out of four Santa Monica car washes that has faced accusation of mistreatment towards its employees.

The investigation for the case is still pending. Therefore, any employees or witnesses with information about the accusations against Wilshire West should contact the City Attorney's Consumer Protection Unit at (310) 458-8327.

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