Owner, partners of Utah contracting business charged with labor trafficking

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CENTERVILLE – Seven members of a general contracting business based in Daviess County, including the company’s owner, president and chief financial officer, are now facing felony charges of labor trafficking.

Rudy Lars Larson, 35, of Bountiful; his wife, Jenna Marie Larson, 36, Bountiful; Tyler Charles Brinkman, 57, Herriman; Clayton Ray Phillips, 49, of Kaysville; Adam Perea, 35, Riverdale; Kirk Simmons, 58, of Bountiful; and Brandon Joseph Floyd, 40, of Lehigh, were each charged Friday in 2nd District Court with seven counts of felony human trafficking.

Rudy Larson, Simmons, Perea and Brinkman were also charged with second-degree criminal conspiracy. Larson, the founder of Rubicon Contracting LLC in Centerville, was also charged with money laundering.

Brinkman, Phillips and Perea were arrested last week.. Arrest warrants were issued for the others on Friday.

Last week, lawyers representing Rubicon issued a prepared statement denying the allegations:

“Today we learned that Rubicon is being investigated by the Attorney General’s Office regarding its labor practices. Rubicon has denied any wrongdoing and has complied with all applicable laws in good faith.

Rubicon recruited nearly 150 people from Mexico to work for the company using H2B visas, the Utah Attorney General’s Office announced.

“Once in Utah, the workers endured extremely poor working and living conditions and unreasonable fees for housing and equipment. The wages paid to the workers were negligible, forcing them to rely on food banks and charity to survive,” the attorney general’s office said. press release.

The lawsuit is based on seven victims who were hired to work for Rubicon, which provides general contracting services such as snow removal and landscaping. They were each promised full-time jobs but paid very little, forced to live in Rubicon subsidized housing and threatened with eviction, according to the filings.

Rubicon is part of several businesses owned by Larson, who owns Scandia, Smart Rain, Park Place Auto and Black Tie Property Management, according to court documents.

A former employee told investigators, “He saw employees shoveling snow with tennis shoes, employees were unfamiliar with US traffic laws, employees were unfamiliar with large vehicle operations, employees were unfamiliar with major highways like I-15, and employees had limited knowledge of the technological requirements of the job (the employee) at Rubicon.” He referred several instances of employees who did not know how to drive the given vehicles and were confused about how to drive on highways and freeways.

“(The worker) stated that the working hours expected for certain periods were ‘terrible’ as the workers only get one to three hours of sleep. Move the machinery (the worker) stated that the housing provided to the workers was lacking in all basic services.

The testimony also alleges that Scandia created other companies solely to move visa workers around the Rubicon and get them to extend their worker visas.

Larson “repeatedly described how he committed illegal acts and made direct and explicit threats and intimidation of violence against victims and witnesses,” according to the lawsuit. “Furthermore, the state is currently working to identify all victims who are being held and exploited by Rubicon at locations in multiple counties and to seize all assets acquired through conduct by (Larson) and Rubicon corporate entities. In the months leading up to the filing of these charges, corporate executives They made clear and obvious threats to victims and witnesses.

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Pat Revy is a longtime police and court reporter. Prior to that, he joined the KSL.com team in 2021 after several years reporting at the Deseret News and KSL NewsRadio.

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