Prosecution Sought in Back-Wages Case

Scales of Justice
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Nevada's labor commissioner said Monday he has asked state Attorney General Brian Sandoval to prosecute the head of an Incline Village dot-com company who owes a record $429,480 in penalties and back wages to employees.

Terry Johnson said Robert DeMaio, president of, failed to pay more than 60 employees. Johnson said it's the first time a state labor commissioner sought criminal prosecution for labor law violations.

Johnson wrote Sandoval to say he should help"in sending a message that the type of corporate misbehavior (by DeMaio) will not go unpunished in the state of Nevada and that every effort will be made to protect the interests of Nevada workers."

Johnson also filed a formal request for debt collection with the state controller's office. He said the demand for $429,480 in unpaid wages, penalties and legal fees is the largest claim of its sort in Nevada.

The requests follow a Carson City District Court summary judgment award won by Johnson on behalf of DeMaio's former workers. had launched a national campaign to add merchants to its network, saying they'd be provided with"free online advertising campaigns."

DeMaio last December said the company, which was formed about three years ago and went public last fall, had about 130 workers at its peak. But as its stock value plummeted, the company laid off about half of the workers while others left through normal attrition.

DeMaio acknowledged that paychecks of some employees bounced. He claimed a bank lacked enough funds to cash the checks, but a bank official said that explanation was erroneous.

Before moving to Nevada, DeMaio ran a 30-car limousine and car service in Southern California.