Williamsburg businessman Erasmo Ponce failed to pay workers’ compensation insurance, overtime

Tortilla factory owner gets jail time after gruesome accident

The Brooklyn Paper
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The owner of a tortilla factory where an employee died in a gruesome dough-mixer accident will serve 90 days in jail and pay nearly a half million dollars in restitution for failing to pay for workers’ compensation insurance or pay his other employees for overtime.

Erasmo Ponce, the owner of Tortilleria Chinantla Inc., a corn tortilla factory on Grand Street in Williamsburg, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor violation of workers’ compensation law.

State police arrested Ponce in March 2012 for failing to pay for workers’ compensation, charges related to the January 2011 accident that led to the death of Juan Baten, a 22-year-old Guatemalan immigrant worker who fell into a giant dough mixer and was crushed.

In addition to the jail term, Ponce was ordered to pay $447,943.11 in restitution. Of that money, $300,000 went to the Workers Compensation Board to reimburse the agency for a payment made to Baten’s daughter. Another $138,000 went to the New York State Department of Labor to cover overtime pay that Ponce never paid to his 28 employees from 2006 to 2011. The remaining $9,943.11 went to unpaid unemployment insurance taxes.

He was not charged in the death of the worker.

Workers at the factory declined to comment.

Reach reporter Danielle Furfaro at or by calling (718) 260-2511. Follow her at
Updated 10:12 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Mike from Williamsburg says:
"He was not charged in the death of the worker."

"Tortilla factory owner gets jail time for gruesome accident"

If you're going to publish two contradictory statements, I suggest putting the true one in the headline.
July 11, 2013, 8:02 am
Diane says:
I read the jail time is for work comp fraud; not paying insurance and not paying for the OT his employees were due. Re-read the article and then post yes or not Mike. I could be wrong.
July 12, 2013, 4:46 pm
Barb says:
Mike misunderstood the article.
July 12, 2013, 10:36 pm

Comments closed.

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