Word of Mouth

Siamese Plate on the Go....directly to jail?

Last year, the son of the owner of Arvada's Alamos Verdes was rated the Worst Boss of 2009, an honor he clinched with "simply repulsive" behavior with young female employees, according to a lawsuit filed by the EEOC in October.

But Opas Sinprasong, owner of several Thai restaurants in Boulder and Broomfield counties, is coming on strong as a Worst Boss contender for 2010, after he was indicted this month on suspicion of defrauding his employees and harboring illegal immigrants -- who had to work up to 32 hours of overtime a week without pay, according to the indictment. And that was after paying a "bond" for the job in the first place.

Sinprasong, a Thai citizen, surrendered to authorities on February 11, and last week a judge in U.S. District Court set his bond at $1 million.

According to the indictment, from 2001 to 2008 Sinprasong sponsored dozens of Thai nationals as "specialty workers" for his restaurants, which include Sumida's and Siamese Plate in Boulder, as well as Siamese Plate on the Go, which has stores in Boulder, Broomfield and Louisville. In exchange for his sponsorship, he allegedly required that the workers sign two-year employment contracts, charged them fees for their jobs, and then loaded on the overtime.

"Fine Dining at it's BEST," pronounces the restaurants' website. "An authentic Thai restaurant voted 'The Best in Boulder' for 18 years running and recognized by the Thai government for delicious Thai cuisine."

And apparently endless employment opportunities.

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Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun