A concrete contractor accused of botching multiple jobs in a Puyallup neighborhood is now the subject of a state audit.
Nasili Liu and his company, 5 Star General Contractor, did more than $100,000 worth of work last summer in Puyallup’s Manorwood neighborhood. Many of the homeowners were dissatisfied with the work. When KIRO 7 first introduced you to 5 Star General Contractor, homeowners showed us video of people wearing 5 Star t-shirts working on various jobs. But Tim Church with Labor and Industries said the company didn’t have any workers registered with the agency at the time the work was done.
“You have to have a workers’ compensation account in almost all cases if you have employees,” Church explained. “So, up until very shortly, they hadn’t been reporting any employees to us.”
The state opened an audit of the company. KIRO 7 also obtained a letter that was apparently written by Mr. Liu responding to fight a customer’s request for a credit card chargeback.
Liu wrote, ‘I had six men on the job who weren’t able to get paid because of how he reversed the payment.’ William Wright, Liu’s attorney, admitted his client did have employees working off the books.
“He was employing his relatives on a, you know, cash basis, which is a no-no,” Wright said. “And he would like to have thought it was a nice no-no, and it’s not.”
Wright said Liu can’t talk to KIRO 7 because he’s still in the process of dealing with mediation over insurance claims on some of his work at Manorwood.
“They’re now negotiating with the insurance company with the bond people to see how they can make themselves whole financially so that then they can do whatever they need to do to fix things the way they want them to be,” Wright explained.
Tim Church said Liu has been cooperative through the audit process, which could be costly to 5 Star General Contractor’s bottom line.
“They can also be penalized,” Church said. “And if there was a claim during that time, an employee that got hurt, we can make them pay for that too. So, it can be a very expensive proposition.”
The company has a B+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and has no complaints with the Attorney General’s office. The audit should wrap up by August.