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News Release

Kansas Restaurant Owner Pleads Guilty to Impeding Wage Investigation

KANSAS CITY, MO – The owner of a Kansas City-area restaurant pleaded guilty in federal court to two felony counts of providing falsified payroll records to impede an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division into violations of federal wage laws.

Yong Lin – president of China Garden Buffet Inc. in Merriam, Kansas – entered the plea on Sept. 12, 2017, before U.S. District Court Judge Carlos Murguia. Sentencing is expected before the end of the year. Falsification of records could result in a sentence of up to 20 years imprisonment, $250,000 in fines, and three years of supervised release, as well as restitution.

“This case demonstrates our commitment to preventing companies that choose to break the law from gaining an unfair advantage over their competitors,” said Regional Wage and Hour Division Administrator Karen Chaikin, in Chicago. “The case also helps ensure that workers are paid what they have earned.”

During the Division’s inquiry, Lin presented falsified payroll records to investigators in February 2013 and January 2014. After determining back wages of $709,539 were due to 56 employees of China Garden Buffet for violations of overtime, minimum wage and record-keeping provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the Department filed a lawsuit on Aug. 21, 2014, to recover back wages and liquidated damages.

In 2011, China Garden Buffet paid back wages of $15,504 to 16 employees after the Division found similar FLSA violations.

The Department’s Regional Solicitors Office in Kansas City and the Office of Inspector General assisted with the case.

Persons with questions can get more information about this topic and all of the federal wage laws administered by the Division by calling the agency’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). All calls are confidential. More information is available online at

Wage and Hour Division
October 19, 2017
Release Number
Media Contact: Scott Allen
Phone Number
Media Contact: Rhonda Burke
Phone Number