SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Five defendants are set to be sentenced in wage theft case involving four Northern California Chinese restaurants.

The East Bay Times reports state investigators say the owners stole $4.5 million in wages from employees they forced to work 12-hour days from 2009-2013.

State investigators say they also cheated California out of $2 million in taxes.

Authorities say the former owners and managers of Golden Dragon Buffet in Brentwood, New Dragon Buffet in San Leandro, Golden Wok Buffet in Roseville and Kokyo Sushi Buffet in Hayward committed the crimes.

A grand jury indicted eight owners and managers on 28 charges, including conspiracy, wage theft and workers compensation fraud. Authorities say three of the defendants are believed to have fled to China.

The other five have agreed to plead guilty to some of the charges. Sentencing is Friday.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press.

  1. The owners/managers hire illegals from China who overstay their tourist or student visas, people who are unlikely to complain for fear of being deported.

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