- Associated Press - Thursday, October 19, 2017

MERRIAM, Kan. (AP) - The owner of a Kansas City-area restaurant has pleaded guilty to impeding an investigation into the withholding of employees’ pay.

The U.S. Department of Labor says Yong Lin, president of China Garden Buffet in Merriam, Kansas, could face up to 20 years in prison and fines of $250,000.

The department said in a news release Thursday that Lin twice supplied false records to investigators, who later determined the company owed 56 employees a total of $709,539 in back wages.

Investigators say the employees earned the back wages but China Garden Buffet violated overtime, minimum wage and record-keeping provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

A 2011 investigation also found that China Garden Buffet owed back wages of $15,504 to 16 employees, citing similar violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

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