4

Boulder restaurateur Opas Sinprasong will do time for exploiting workers

^
Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

Last October, Opas Sinprasong -- a Thai national who once owned Siamese Plate, Siamese Plate on the Go and Sumida's in Boulder and Louisville -- pleaded guilty to harboring illegal aliens and failure to pay taxes.

Yesterday he was sentenced: The restaurateur will do time, pay a hefty sum and return to Thailand when his punishment ends.

For seven years, Sinprasong obtained work visas for fellow Thai citizens so that they could come to the U.S. as employees of his restaurant; he also made those workers sign two-year contracts and pay fees via their paychecks. He failed to pay overtime, even though his staff averaged 26 to 32 hours of extra work per week. He harbored illegal immigrants. Oh, and he kept two separate payroll books, paying many employees under the table so he wouldn't have to send tax money to the IRS. Quite the rap sheet.

His labor practices were compared to slavery. And the government demanded its cash.

Sinprasong was sentenced to 366 days in the pokey, a fine of $4,000 and restitution of $754,975 -- $509,618 of which will go to former employees and $245,357 of which goes straight to the IRS. And after he's done with his punishment, he'll have a one-way ticket back to Thailand.

To cover those fees, he'll sell his two Boulder homes, worth about $766,000. He no longer owns restaurants; Siamese Plate got a fresh start last year as Naraya.

Follow @CafeWestword on Twitter

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.