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ALBANY — State officials say an Albany-area contractor has pleaded guilty to scamming hundreds of thousands of dollars out of minority-owned businesses and failing to pay dozens of his employees.

Attorney General Barbara Underwood says Friday that 47-year-old Michael Martin, of Latham, pleaded guilty in county courts in Schenectady and Albany to grand larceny and scheme to defraud.

Authorities say Martin ran an elaborate scheme that fraudulently obtained construction contracts for public projects while failing to pay more than $400,000 in wages to employees of Eastern Building and Restoration, his now-defunct Albany-based contracting business.

Officials say part of the scheme involved stealing the identity of two minority-owned businesses.

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Martin faces up to 12 years in state prison and must pay $800,000 to the victims.

Charges against Martin's alleged partner in the scheme are pending.

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