OAKLAND -- The owner of a locally based general contractor that won at least 27 different government contracts in Bay Area counties was sentenced to 10 years' probation for various frauds in which the company did not properly pay its workers.

Monica Mui Ung, 51, owner of NBC General Contractor Corporation, pleaded guilty in April to felony fraud crimes, including prevailing wage fraud and workers' compensation premium fraud, and to committing white collar crimes.

Ung organized the fraud by telling governments that she was paying her employees a prevailing wage and giving them overtime, sick leave, pension, health care and vacation benefits. However, investigators found, Ung and others within the company had denied those benefits to workers and instead kept the money themselves.

As a result, the workers, many of who were non-English speaking immigrants, were not properly paid, a news release by the Alameda County District Attorney's Office states.

"In this case, many of the workers are non-English speaking and were fearful of coming forward, they found themselves part of a captive labor force working in the underground economy," said District Attorney Nancy O'Malley. "They were victimized by the predatory practices of dishonest employers."

NBC Contractors, which opened in 1995, had worked on a number of government projects including Piedmont Elementary School, Daly City Fire Station, Oakland Library, El Cerrito City Hall and Walnut Creek Civic Center.

Ung's sentence of four years in state prison was suspended and she was placed on 10 years felony probation and ordered to pay $350,000 in restitution to her workers and $850,000 restitution to the State Compensation Insurance Fund