Owner of Brooklyn’s Scariest Tortilla Factory Lands in Jail

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Philip Stearns / Flickr Photo: Philip Stearns / Flickr

The owner of a once-celebrated Brooklyn tortilla factory where a worker died in 2011 has agreed to go to jail for failing to pay his employees adequate wages. Erasmo Ponce, described as an immigrant success story in seemingly every account of his unfolding downfall, agreed to a 90-day sentence for not paying his employees overtime. He's also been ordered to pay $450,000 in restitution, including $300,000 to reimburse the state for benefits paid to the daughter of the worker crushed to death in a mixing machine. Another $138,000 goes to cover the overtime wages he failed to pay 28 employees from 2006 to 2011, the New York Times reports. Even though the worker's death didn't lead to the jail time directly, it did get investigators interested in the factory in the first place. If there's a moral to this story, aside from treat your workers fairly, it's that safety pays.