Portsmouth construction company owner charged with wage theft, check fraud

Ronald Harnois accused of failing to pay two former employees

Posted 5/12/21

PORTSMOUTH — A Portsmouth man was arraigned in Newport County District Court Tuesday on charges stemming from his failure to pay wages to two former employees in 2018, Attorney General …

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Portsmouth construction company owner charged with wage theft, check fraud

Ronald Harnois accused of failing to pay two former employees

Posted

PORTSMOUTH — A Portsmouth man was arraigned in Newport County District Court Tuesday on charges stemming from his failure to pay wages to two former employees in 2018, Attorney General Peter F. Neronha announced.

Ronald Harnois, 43, owner of Roharn Construction in Portsmouth, is charged with one count of check fraud, two counts of failure to make payment to an employee upon separation, and one count of failure to provide a statement of accounting, deductions, or withholdings.

As alleged in the criminal complaint, Mr. Harnois is accused of failing to pay two former employees a total of over $1,500 in wages for residential construction work during the summer and fall of 2018.

One former employee is alleged to have been paid two checks that were later returned for insufficient funds. Mr. Harnois, to date, still owes that former employee over $730 in unpaid wages, according to the attorney general.

It’s also alleged that Mr. Harnois refused to pay another employee for work he performed in August and September of 2018, owing over $800 in unpaid wages.

The case was referred to the Office of the Attorney General from the Department of Labor and Training, following the Department’s attempts to prompt Mr. Harnois to pay the unpaid wages.

Special Assistant Attorney General Carole L. McLaughlin and investigators from the Office of the Attorney General are leading the prosecution and investigation of the case.

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