Vanna Taing, Brendon Bui, and Gary Lai have faced the Fair Work Ombudsman in court for allegedly providing false pay slips to inspectors.

Taing and Bui formerly operated the Gami-Southland outlet at Westfield Southland Shopping Centre, while Lai worked in a human resources role within the business.

The business was a part of a surprise Fair Work audit blitz in 2019, which saw Gami Chicken & Beer stores targeted across Melbourne, Sydney, and Perth.

It’s alleged the trio knowingly provided false records to inspectors, which showed three workers were paid higher rates than they had been.

A second investigation was conducted in 2021 after the Fair Work Ombudsman received requests for assistance from workers.

Taing and Bui were issued with a compliance notice to pay 16 workers who had not been paid for any work over a three-work period before the restaurant closed in 2021 and the franchisee licence was terminated.

The workers were partially back-paid, but more than $40,000 in underpayments remains.

“Employers also need to be aware that providing false records is serious and unacceptable conduct,” said Acting Fair Work Ombudsman Kristen Hannah.

Taing and Bui also failed to make and keep records concerning termination of employment, with the Fair Work Ombudsman seeking penalties for the breaches.

Taing, Bui, and Lai each face up to $13,320 in penalties, with Taing and Bui facing additional penalties of up to $6,660 for failing to pay workers, and $13,320 for the termination records.

A directions hearing is set to be held in Melbourne on 3 August.