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News Brief

Court appoints receiver to take control of commercial laundry company’s assets after owner ignores court orders, withdraws funds at area casinos

Enterprise Laundry Services, owner owe $249K in back wages to 61 workers

Date of Action: April 29, 2016

Type of Action: Appointment of receiver to cease dissipation of assets

Defendants: Enterprise Laundry Services Inc.
Margaret Matkowska

Action: U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division appointed Ira Bodenstein as independent receiver to take immediate possession and preserve all assets of Enterprise Laundry Services Inc., a Chicago-area commercial laundry services company. The action, by Judge Charles Norgle, comes after the company and its owner, Margaret Matkowska, dissipated corporate and personal assets recklessly and repeatedly failed to comply with three court orders to pay back wages and damages to workers for violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act’s minimum wage, overtime and recordkeeping provisions.

Under the three court orders, the employer owes back wages and damages to 61 workers, as well fines for civil contempt, totaling $249,426.63.

In violation of the court order, Matkowska recklessly dissipated at least $47,000 in corporate and personal assets since November 2015 by gambling and making large cash withdrawals at four Chicago-area casinos, sometimes using corporate payroll accounts to pay for her gambling habit. After discovering these large expenditures, the U.S. Department of Labor sought the appointment of an independent receiver to prevent further dissipation of wages and other damages owed to workers.

Judge Norgle has ordered Enterprise Laundry and Matkowska to immediately:

  • Provide a financial statement detailing the value and location and contact information for any personal or corporate assets located in and outside the U.S.
  • Transfer to the receivership all assets held jointly or singly or under their direct or indirect ownership or control in both the U.S. and foreign countries.
  • Preserve, provide immediate access to and provide to the receiver all paper and electronic information and all other information of and/or relating to any assets.

Bodenstein, an attorney with Shaw, Fishman Glantz & Towbin LLC, will take control of the assets and liquidate them as necessary to comply with the court orders to pay back wages.

Background: An investigation by the department’s Wage and Hour Division found the Chicago-area commercial laundry service and Matkowska, violated the FLSA which resulted in the 2012 court order which enjoined the defendants from future violations.

After the company failed to pay the wages due and continued to violate the minimum wage and overtime requirements, the judge signed an Order of Civil Contempt against both the company and Matkowska on July 30, 2015. The order included fines of $150 per day until they complied. The order also required the defendants to demonstrate their compliance with the FLSA from January 2014 to the present by submitting payroll records to the division and to pay $5,000 in attorney’s fees. When they failed to comply as ordered, the court increased the daily fine to $200 and imposed additional sanctions on Nov. 6, 2015.

Quote: “Willfully ignoring court orders and gambling away corporate assets, at the expense of workers, will not be tolerated,” said Karin Chaikin, Regional Administrator for the Wage and Hour Division in Chicago. “The U.S. Department of Labor will use every tool available to us, including litigation, to ensure workers receive the money they have rightfully earned.”

Information: The FLSA requires that covered, non-exempt employees be paid at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour for all hours worked, plus time and one-half their regular rates, including commissions, bonuses and incentive pay for hours worked beyond 40 per week. Employers also must maintain accurate time and payroll records.

Court: U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division

Docket Number: 1:12-cv-01926
Perez v. Enterprise Laundry Services Inc., Margaret Matkowska

Wage and Hour Division
May 5, 2016
Release Number
Media Contact: Scott Allen
Phone Number
Media Contact: Rhonda Burke
Phone Number