D.A. Bragg Announces Indictment of Twin Brothers and Company for Assaulting Workers, Refusing to Pay Wages

February 24, 2023

First Case Brought by the Manhattan D.A.’s New “Worker Protection Unit”

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin L. Bragg, Jr., today announced the indictment of GZIM “JIMMY” SHABAJ, 41, and LULZIM “LUIS” SHABAJ, 41, as well as their company, 3 BROTHERS GC CORP. (“3 BROTHERS”), for exploiting two Spanish-speaking day laborers, refusing to pay them, and assaulting them when they confronted the defendants. The New York State Supreme Court indictment charges all three defendants with Scheme to Defraud and violating New York’s Workers’ Compensation Laws. GZIM SHABAJ is additionally charged with Assault and Attempted Assault in the Third Degrees, and Criminal Mischief and Menacing in the Second Degrees.[1] This indictment marks the first case brought by the Manhattan D.A.’s Office’s new Worker Protection Unit.

“Wage theft is very clearly a public safety issue,” said District Attorney Bragg. “These workers demanded their fair pay, and in return, we allege, they were targeted with physical violence and threats of deportation. We will not stand idly by while hardworking New Yorkers’ lives and livelihoods are jeopardized. I urge anyone who has been a victim of wage theft or dangerous workplace conditions to call our new Worker Protection Unit at 646-712-0298.”

According to court documents and statements made on the record in court, twin brothers GZIM SHABAJ and LULZIM SHABAJ own 3 BROTHERS, a general contracting company operating at various construction sites in New York City. The brothers hired the two day laborers in Fall 2022 to perform roofing, painting, and electrical work at 128th West 118th Street in Harlem, as well as other properties. The brothers paid the workers for approximately one month before abruptly stopping. The brothers continued to string the workers along, promising they would pay them later, and the men continued to work.

On September 10, 2022, the first worker again asked GZIM SHABAJ for his wages. GZIM SHABAJ refused, before pulling out a knife and repeatedly punching the worker’s head, causing his ear to bleed. In total, the brothers stole approximately $1,470 from the worker for refusing to pay six days of wages.

On September 30, 2022, the second worker attempted to cash a paycheck for $3,000 but the check bounced. When the worker asked for his wages, GZIM SHABAJ ripped the side-view mirror off the worker’s van, and repeatedly hit the van with the mirror, denting its hubcap and cracking his windshield. He also hit the worker in the shoulder, stating in sum, “You’re Hispanic. I’ll call immigration. You SOB, f-you. Hispanics get out of the country.” The worker called 911, and GZIM SHABAJ fled the scene. LULZIM SHABAJ purposefully gave responding NYPD officers the wrong birthdate and name for his twin, and later canceled an additional paycheck. In total, the brothers stole $6,150 from the worker by cancelling two paychecks.

Worker Protection Unit

Last week, the D.A.’s Office announced the creation of its first-ever Worker Protection Unit within the Rackets Bureau to investigate and prosecute wage theft and other forms of worker harassment and exploitation across Manhattan’s many industries. Building on the success of the Office’s Construction Fraud Task Force, which will be part of the Worker Protection Unit, the Unit will pursue criminal charges against individuals and corporations that jeopardize their workers’ safety and steal their wages.

D.A. Bragg also announced the creation of a first-ever Stolen Wage Fund for Manhattan victims of wage theft, funded through the D.A.’s Criminal Justice Investment Initiative and operated in partnership with the New York State Department of Labor. Finally, in an effort to allow the Unit to bring appropriately strong charges against individuals and companies that cheat their workers, D.A. Bragg joined Assemblymember Catalina Cruz and State Senator Neil Breslin to support their bill that would enable prosecutors to charge wage theft as larceny.


Assistant D.A. Rachana Pathak (Chief of the Worker Protection Unit) is handling the prosecution of this case under the supervision of Assistant D.A.s Michael Ohm (Deputy Chief of the Rackets Bureau), Judy Salwen (Principal Deputy Chief of the Rackets Bureau) and Jodie Kane (Chief of the Rackets Bureau), and Executive Assistant D.A. Susan Hoffinger (Chief of the Investigation Division). Worker Protection Unit Coordinator Danielle Corbett, Assistant D.A. Brandon Spreckels, and Rackets Investigators Genesis Cornielle, Jose Vasquez, and Justin Reid assisted with the investigation. 

District Attorney Bragg thanked the New York City Department of Investigations, especially Chief Investigator James McElligott, and the New York City Police Department’s 28th Precinct, including Police Officer Jaskaran Singh, Detective Michael Montalvo, and Detective Donald Moeller.

Defendant Information:



  • Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class E felony, one count
  • Effect of Failure to Secure Compensation, a class A misdemeanor, one count
  • Criminal Mischief in the Third Degree, a class E felony, one count
  • Menacing in the Second Degree, a class A misdemeanor, one count
  • Assault in the Third Degree, a class A misdemeanor, one count
  • Attempted Assault in the Third Degree, a class B misdemeanor, one count



  • Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class E felony, one count
  • Effect of Failure to Secure Compensation, a class A misdemeanor, one count



  • Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class E felony, one count
  • Effect of Failure to Secure Compensation, a class A misdemeanor, one count