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Restaurant owner’s assets seized in wage theft case

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The owners of a Bay Area restaurant chain have had $1.7 million in assets seized to help pay back 56 employees who were allegedly victims of wage theft while working at Mango Garden restaurants in three counties, labor officials said Wednesday.

According to the state’s Department of Industrial Relations and the Labor and Workforce Development Agency, the workers were being paid in cash and their employers were keeping 15 percent off the top for “taxes.”

They were also paid below minimum wage and denied overtime pay and meal breaks. Investigators looking into the case said employees were often working 10-hour days.

The Mango Garden had Chinese-Malaysian restaurants in San Jose, Fremont and San Mateo but all three locations have closed, according to www.yelp.com.

The owner’s assets have been seized by the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office, and those are being liquidated to pay off the victims. The 56 workers affected in the case are owed about $37,000 on average, although the specific amount owed to each one varies.

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