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Ex-Employee Fired After She Refused to ‘Defraud’ Taxpayers With ‘False’ Minority Hiring

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

New York Civil Rights Lawyer Eric Sanders, Esq., of The Sanders Firm, P.C., alleges in a filing with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Against World Business Lenders, LLC that a former Vice President and Payroll Manager was fired after refusing to ‘defraud’ taxpayers’ with ‘false’ minority hiring 

New York, April 9, 2018, – Mrs. Kerrie-Ann Murray, an African-American female, alleges throughout her employment as Vice President and Payroll Manager with World Business Lenders, LLC, she and other persons of color were subjected to a racially hostile work environment.

Throughout her employment, Murray claims Andy Occhino, Managing Director – General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer and Robert Pardes, Managing Director – Chief Operating Officer along with other Caucasian managers would demean she and other persons of color to force them out of the company.

Murray claims, throughout her employment, Occhino and Pardes along with other Caucasian managers consulted with Stephanie Hamilton, Senior Vice President and Human Resources Director and Vice President and Human Resources Manager Evelyn Cruz on a number of occasions on how to terminate persons of color.

Murray claims, at some point in 2015, World Business Lenders, LLC; Doug W. Naidus, Founder and Chief Executive Officer; Occhino and Pardes along with other members of the ‘team’ conspired to defraud the taxpayers of the State of New Jersey and City of Jersey City by claiming to hire ‘employable’ African-Americans and other persons of color to qualify for enhanced government grants and other tax benefits.

Murray claims, the ‘team’ made a ‘false’ presentation before the New Jersey Economic Development Authority applying for tax credits under the Grow New Jersey Assistance Program. In furtherance of the ‘scheme,’ Murray claims, the ‘team’ instructed her to hire ‘unqualified’ African-Americans and other persons of color who were on public assistance or parole in order to receive the tax credits under the Grow New Jersey Assistance Program.

On or about February 9, 2016, Murray claims, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority approved the ‘team’ to receive tax credits under the Grow New Jersey Assistance Program. Under the terms of the agreement, Murray claims, ‘team’ were to receive up to $16.8 million dollars over ten (10) years with a net benefit to the State of more than $85 million over twenty (20) years. Under the terms of the agreement, Murray claims,  the New Jersey Economic Development Authority required the ‘team’ to ‘hire’ and ‘retain’ two hundred twenty-five (225) individuals receiving public benefits before the end of 2016.

On or about July 20, 2016, in furtherance of the scheme, Murray claims, ‘team’ moved the company from New York City to Jersey City.

Murray claims, from in or around July 2016 through January 2017, World Business Lenders, LLC hired over two-hundred 200 African-American and Hispanic employees to ‘meet’ the conditions of the Grow New Jersey Assistance Program.  Throughout this time period, Murray claims, Occhino referred to the African-American and Hispanic employees as ‘those people,’ ‘tricksters,’ ‘thieves,’ and ‘criminals.’

Murray claims, at some point after July 20, 2016, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority ‘suspected’ the ‘team’ engaged in ‘fraud’ to obtain the grant under the Grow New Jersey Assistance Program. Murray claims, the ‘team’ instructed her to ‘falsify’ the number of African-American and Hispanics hired but, she refused.

In December 2016, Murray claims, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority ‘forced’ the ‘team’ to sell the grant to another qualifying company. Murray claims, between December 2016 through her termination on September 1, 2017, the ‘team’ made the work environment even more hostile towards her and other employees of color with demeaning conduct and pretextual terminations of employment.

On or about September 1, 2017, the ‘team’ terminated her employment because she refused to participate in racial and national origin discrimination against employees of color and ‘falsify’ the amount of African-American and Hispanic employees hired to qualify them for the grant under the Grow New Jersey Assistance Program.

“This conduct as described by Mrs. Murray is disgraceful. Besides Mrs. Murray’s personal claims, we’re demanding the appropriate government agencies investigate the ‘team’ and its alleged scheme to ‘defraud’ the taxpayers,” says Eric Sanders.

Eric Sanders, Esq., of The Sanders Firm, P.C., filed the Charge of Discrimination with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on April 4, 2018.

ABOUT THE SANDERS FIRM, P.C.

The Sanders Firm, P.C. offers those in the New York City area legal services related and connected to civil rightscivil service rightscriminal law and discrimination. We firmly believe in everyone’s individual rights that are described and guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States of America. We understand that our freedoms and liberties are sacrosanct and that they have been won in many and various hard-fought battles. We are committed in every way to protecting your civil rights. We are your voice for justice!

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Eric Sanders, Esq.
President and Owner, The Sanders Firm, P.C.
Business Phone: 212-652-2782

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