The recently formed unit of the Manhattan district attorney’s office tasked with prosecuting wage theft cases has already taken action against a duo of twins accused of stealing money from construction workers, as well as assaulting and threatening two day laborers. The prosecution alleges that Lulzim “Luis” Shabaj and Gzim “Jimmy” Shabaj committed a scheme to defraud by refusing to pay Spanish-speaking workers for their labor at a construction site in Harlem, ultimately causing them to lose thousands of dollars.
In a disturbing turn of events, Gzim Shabaj is said to have physically assaulted two of the workers who asked for payment. According to prosecutors, he pulled out a knife in response to one worker’s request for payment and punched him repeatedly in the head with his other hand until the worker’s ear bled. The second worker was also met with violence when he asked for his payment, with Gzim Shabaj reportedly tearing a side mirror off the worker’s van and hitting the vehicle with it.
The attack left the van with a dented hubcap and a cracked windshield, and the worker with a shoulder injury. Gzim Shabaj allegedly continued to threaten the second worker, telling him to “get out of the country” and cursing at him.
This latest development underscores the need for robust measures to combat wage theft and protect vulnerable workers from exploitation. As the Manhattan district attorney’s office continues its efforts to prosecute cases of wage theft, it is imperative that perpetrators of such crimes are held accountable for their actions. The brutality and intimidation alleged in this case are especially egregious and must be met with the full force of the law.