UPDATE (based on Department of Labor Press Release from October 17, 2013):
Company officials with High Performance Ropes of America have been ordered to give back-ordered payments totaling $165,356 in overtime wages and liquidated damages to 31 employees.

An employee was also convicted of a felony count of making false statements, and the business was fined $12,100 in civil money penalties for repeat and willful violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act. In addition, the business received a court-ordered fine of $10,000.

The owner, plant manager and office manager were convicted on separate felony counts. Luis Alvarez Jr., Mario Champo and Mary Becerra were sentenced to time served with probation, according to the report.

The Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division conducted a two-year investigation between December 2008 to December 2010. Their investigation found that the employer failed to pay its workers time-and-a-half for hours worked over 40 in each workweek, according to the Department of Labor's press release.

A second investigation from December 2010 to March 2013 revealed that the employer submitted false payment evidence to the department and demanded kickbacks from the workers while continuing to avoid overtime obligations, the release noted.

The case was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Texas.

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