D.A. Bragg: Twins, Company Plead Guilty To Stealing From Workers; Must Repay All Wages

April 3, 2024

Convictions in First Case Brought by the Manhattan D.A.’s Worker Protection Unit

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin L. Bragg, Jr., today announced the guilty pleas of twin brothers GZIM “JIMMY” SHABAJ, 41, and LULZIM “LUIS” SHABAJ, 41, to Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree for stealing $7,620 from two Spanish-speaking day laborers through a scheme to exploit them and refuse to pay their wages. Under the terms of the plea entered in New York State Supreme Court, the defendants, who have paid $4,000 in back wages, must pay the remaining $3,620 by July 18, 2024, before which they must not be rearrested for any other crime. If they successfully follow these terms, they can replead to a misdemeanor charge. If they do not, their felony convictions will stand, and they will each face up to 1 1/3 to 4 years in state prison.

Previously, on August 15, 2023, the SHABAJ’S company, 3 BROTHERS GC CORP. (“3 BROTHERS”) pleaded guilty in New York State Supreme Court to Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree and violating New York’s Workers’ Compensation Laws.

“With this resolution, two workers who had the courage to come forward were made whole,” said District Attorney Bragg. “I hope that the full restitution secured in this case assures New Yorkers that we are here to help them reclaim wages that were criminally taken from them. Please report wage theft or dangerous workplace conditions to our 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.

In total, the brothers stole approximately $1,470 from one worker by refusing to pay six days of wages. Additionally, the brothers stole $6,150 from a second worker by cancelling two paychecks before they could be cashed.


Assistant D.A. Rachana Pathak (Chief of the Worker Protection Unit) handled the prosecution of this case under the supervision of Assistant D.A.s Judy Salwen (Principal Deputy Chief of the Rackets Bureau) and Jodie Kane (Chief of the Rackets Bureau and Acting 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 Investigation, especially Chief Investigator James McElligott, and the New York City Police Department’s 28th Precinct, including Police Officer Jaskaran Singh, Detective Michael Montalvo, and Detectie Donald Moeller.

Defendant Information:



  • Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class E felony, one count



  • Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class E felony, 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