Merriam restaurant owner gets prison for faking minimum wage, taking workers’ wages

A Merriam restaurant owner has been sentenced to federal prison after he submitted fake proof to the U.S. government purportedly showing he was paying his workers minimum wage.

Yong Lin, the 39-year-old owner of China Garden restaurant in Merriam, was sentenced to 10 months in federal prison after he pleaded guilty to one count of falsifying records submitted to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Lin, of Overland Park, owned the China Garden Buffet restaurant at 5860 Antioch Road. He admitted in his plea that a federal investigation found he was not complying with the Fair Labor Standards Act because he didn’t pay overtime for employees working more than 40 hours, according to the U.S. District Attorney’s Office in Kansas.

Lin agreed to pay back wages. A subsequent investigation found he was feigning compliance by paying his servers minimum wage and then requiring them to cash their checks and return money to him.