Single Status Update
I'll preface this with a short back story: Because of things with my old roommate exploding due to his irresponsibility and negligence of important things, I had to find a place to stay ASAP. I found an ad on Craigslist for a live in job at a hotel describing an offer wherein for work at the hotel room, you would be compensated with a place to stay. I've been living here about three and a half weeks, now.
So, since I started this job I've seen various things that were questionable, but until yesterday it did not yet occur to me that there may be a lot of illegal activity going on at this hotel on the owner's part. The hotel is owned and run by a family from India (Patels, of course), and between them they have several corporations that make up their hotel chain within the region.
A couple weeks ago, the owner and head of their "household" (I guess that's what you call it), asked me to take a legal document titled "SPECIAL WARRANTY DEED" and directly type a copy of the papers into a new OpenOffice document. After this, he proceeded to help me change all instances of names, companies and dates to suit his current aims. The papers were originally from the state of Missouri when he was purchasing a hotel back in 2007, and had me replace them with a more current date and the name of his corporation and that of the one he has set up for his son. So, while these look like official documents, they're essentially hack jobs he had me do on a computer at the front desk.
Now, yesterday, he had me forge another part of this 28 page document, doing the same thing. While talking with my friend/the maintenance guy whose patience is running as short with the Manager's as mine is, I made the comment that I had to get back to working on fixing more documents that the Manager was too "busy" to fix himself, and said friend laughed and made the comment "you mean too busy to do the legal way", which made me start thinking about all of this.
The papers aren't the only things that are bothersome in this hotel and the business practices here. On an every-other-day basis he has been instructing me to use fake e-mails to book hotel stays at his various locations using his AMEX credit card by fake people whom he has previous made various GMail or Hotmail accounts for, followed by forging reviews for the hotel. These reviews are all over his hotels on Expedia, Booking, Travelocity, Google+ and others. What's even further disturbing, is that his instructions are specifically to copy/paste reviews from other hotels in random cities and tweak them to match descriptions of the hotel here. So not only is he falsely talking up his hotel, he's also forging reviews from other hotels.
Probably the most disturbing thing so far, is that when we went to a different hotel about an hour and a half away to set up security cameras, an employee revealed something to me that she had been told to keep to herself: The fire alarm kept beeping/going off every few nights, so the Manager told her to silence the fire alarm (as he was too cheap to have it looked at). Because the fire alarm was silenced, the elevator no longer worked, but obviously that's the least of the issue here. She couldn't stand up to him, because like almost all of his employees, we we're compensated for our work with a roof over our heads and if we make him angry, then he kicks us out.
When he interviews people, he either hires them on the spot or tells them to go home. Other than the generic application, no other papers are signed and that's that. It seemed a bit odd to me, but I was too worried about having a roof over my head to really think about it. But truthfully, now that I'm thinking about how illegal a lot of things he does are... that may be the least of my problems, since he's instructing me to be an accomplice in all these unethical business practices. He doesn't even run heating in public areas of the hotel and has 5 space heaters in the front desk/office area to make the thermometer read above 68 degrees (which I guess is the number the hotel temperature has to stay above).
So now I wonder what I should do. If someone gets pissed, can they sue him? Hell can I sue him? I'm not one of those sue happy people, but the question had come into my head. Should I report him to some sort of agency? I have all this to consider on top of the fact that this is the only place I have to stay, and since I don't actually get paid, I'm pretty much stuck here until I can convince a friend to let me move in with them so I can get a job (Omaha is not a friendly city to people that do not have a car; I work 9-5 and the latest bus runs at 6, and walking somewhere from my location for work isn't very viable - I do feel really stuck here).
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As long as the cash keeps flowin', keep your mouth shut, bro.
The cash isn't flowin'. He has a live-in job found on Craigslist. He's basically being compelled to work here lest he become homeless.
Seems to me the best thing to do is to find another, REAL job, as soon as you can, before you think about reporting the dude. Mind you, you should probably report him, or do something along those lines. You don't want to become an accomplice. I doubt if you did any sort of whistleblowing you'd be prosecuted yourself, but I also wouldn't rely on the generosity of a government agency to keep you housed. Any action you take should follow from distancing yourself from this business.
Still, that's better than what many others have (or have not) got.
OK. So is this a reason he should not seek something better out? On the issue of whether to rat the guy out, I personally wouldn't unless he's treating you poorly, in which case, yes, throw him under the bus.
I highly doubt you making money from this whole situation though. Lawyers cost quite a bit up front, and I doubt the guy will pay up if he gets in trouble. Just get a real job and place to stay and reap the benefits of being above the table.