LANSING, Mich. (CBS DETROIT) – Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel is gearing up for potential criminal and civil charges as part of her office’s efforts to safeguard Michigan workers and combat the growing problem of payroll fraud in the state.

Nessel’s office has received nearly 100 complaints of payroll fraud through its tip line and website since launching her Payroll Fraud Enforcement Unit in April.

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The attorney general’s office plans to send out letters by the end of the week, demanding business records to at least 10 businesses operating in Michigan. Her office also plans to use subpoenas and warrants in other cases to obtain vital information from Michigan-based businesses allegedly operating fraudulent payroll schemes.

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“Payroll fraud affects all of us, especially the families who are robbed. When shady businesses exploit people by cheating them of the wages they are owed, families have less money in their pockets, zero benefits, and an uncertain future,” Nessel said Tuesday. “No family should live in poverty because greedy businesses cheat the system and refuse to play by the rules. This has gone on for far too long and Michigan isn’t going to wait any longer to crack down on these crimes.”

The complaints involved misclassification of workers, including failing to pay workers overtime and compensating them under the table to avoid paying taxes and benefits. Nessle’s office says in come instances, complaints claim the number of workers affected by these practices surpass 300. The attorney general’s office says most of the tips came from the hospitality/restaurant, entertainment, construction and trucking industries and saw consistencies in the tips.

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