FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) --Financial security is elusive for employees at a Valley security business. "It's just a constant battle trying to get them to pay," said one of the former employees, Donald Brown.
More than a dozen former employees are still waiting to get paid for work they did as far back as 2009, and prosecutors say taxpayers are out thousands of dollars too. Seven people told Action News their employment at security companies owned by Travis Alexander ended with bounced checks or no checks at all. Prosecutors say he stole their labor and more, and also shortchanged the government on taxes. But Alexander says he's about to pay everybody what they're owed.
Jorge Flores gave up on his job at United Guard Security in 2011. "He was not paying me, but still expecting me to get to work somehow," Flores said.
He says his boss was Alexander and he'd worked for the guy off and on for 15 years. But when he stopped getting paid, he stopped coming to work. A 2014 criminal complaint accuses Alexander of stealing labor from 12 people, including Flores. He's the only named victim we tracked down, but he's not the only person who told us Alexander owes money for their work. "About $5364," said Flores.
"With the check and everything, it's $800," said Donald Brown.
"Like $5300," said Shelly Dickey.
In all, prosecutors say Alexander shortchanged people more than $65,000 and also cheated tax laws. Labor commission judgments add up to tens of thousands more for former Alexander employees at United Guard and also Centec Security.
Alexander still runs Centec and we reached him by phone Tuesday. He says the business is turning a corner, so he's close to being able to resolve all the claims against him. His former employees say they'll believe it when the money's in the bank. "I've never been hoping on it," Dickey said. "No. It's there, but I never put any faith that I was ever going to get paid for it."
Alexander's attorney told us he thinks his client can settle almost all his debts within a year. If not, he says Alexander might be forced to consider bankruptcy, but that could lead to worse results in the criminal case.