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August 05, 2014

Lawsuit: N.Y. Charity Threw Parties While Missing Paychecks

A lawsuit filed Monday by five ex-employees of a politically connected Queens nonprofit charges that the organization hosted lavish parties for its leaders' friends while failing to pay more than $250,000 in wages, writes the New York Daily News.

The former workers say the Jamaica Business Resource Center stopped paying them in August 2013. The nonprofit was founded in the mid-1990s, with help from minister and then-Congressman Floyd Flake, to help start-up firms in a financially distressed Queens neighborhood. An unnamed source told the Daily News the charity also has ties to U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks and state Sen. Malcolm Smith.

The plaintiffs say that in a period when they were receiving partial pay, the resource center hosted events at the Pierre and Ritz Carlton Hotels in Manhattan for friends of its officials and members of Mr. Flake's Allen A.M.E. Church, at a cost of "several hundred thousand dollars." A lawyer for the nonprofit did not return a call for comment.