Papa John's Franchisee Gets Jail Time For Failing To Pay Full Wages

by Dave Jamieson

The owner of several Papa John's franchises in New York City will serve 60 days in jail for failing to pay his workers the minimum wage and overtime, New York's attorney general announced Monday.

Two months isn't a particularly long time in the hoosegow, but any jail time at all is notable in a wage theft case. Although unscrupulous business owners are often forced to shell out backpay, it's rare that they spend any time behind bars.

In addition to serving 60 days, Abdul Jamil Khokhar has agreed to pay $230,000 in restitution to the workers. He and his company, BMY Foods, together ran nine Papa John's locations in the Bronx, according to the attorney general's office. Khokar pleaded guilty to failing to pay wages under New York law, which is a misdemeanor, while BMY pleaded guilty to falsifying business records, which is a felony.

"Wage theft is a crime and a Papa John's franchisee is now going to jail for cheating his employees and trying to cover it up," New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a statement Monday.  "My office will do everything in its power to protect the rights of New York's workers and make sure that all employers -- including fast food restaurants -- follow the law."