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Lincoln man arrested on wage theft charges after joint investigation by RIAG, RISP, and DLT

President of Bright Sky Solar, LLC allegedly failed to pay wages totaling over $7,000 to four employees in 2018

Attorney General Peter F. Neronha and Rhode Island State Police Colonel James M. Manni announced that David Pelino (age 42), of Lincoln, was arrested on September 20, 2019 on charges stemming from his alleged failure to pay wages to former employees of his business, Bright Sky Solar, LLC. Members of the Rhode Island State Police Financial Crimes Unit arrested Pelino after a joint investigation by the Office of the Attorney General, Rhode Island State Police and the Department of Labor and Training.

The case is part of a joint initiative to combat wage theft and other crimes that take advantage of workers.

"For too long, an underground economy in which employees are misclassified as independent contractors or otherwise denied the wages and benefits they are fairly owed has been allowed to exist in Rhode Island, with little interference," said Attorney General Neronha. "I am committed to changing that because wage theft not only harms employees denied the money they are owed, but also those employers who compensate their workers fairly and do play by the rules. Our office, together with our partners in the RISP and DLT, is stepping up efforts to combat wage theft, including the kind of illegal actions alleged here."

Colonel James Manni, Rhode Island State Police, stated, "Wage theft is an issue we take very seriously. Working in conjunction with the Attorney General's office and the Department of Labor/Training, we will continue to investigate acts of fraud in the workplace and elsewhere."

"Paying employees what they are owed is a fundamental tenant of a functioning labor market," said DLT Director Scott Jensen. "The DLT is pleased to collaborate with the Attorney General to ensure a day's work gets a fair day's pay."

Pelino is the President of Bright Sky Solar, LLC, a construction company specializing in window and solar system installation, previously located in Warwick. It is alleged that at various times in 2018, he failed to pay wages to four employees totaling over $7,000.

Pelino is charged with failing to make payment on separation by employer, issuing a fraudulent check under $1,500, and issuing a fraudulent check over $1,500. Since the inception of this investigation, it is believed that Pelino paid one of the four employees in full, and partially paid back two other employees..

After his arrest, Pelino was arraigned at RISP Headquarters and released on $5,000 personal recognizance.

A criminal complaint is merely an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.


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