Mass. Father, Son-In-Law Keep Fraud in the Family

October 29, 2004

A Leominster, Massachusetts man and his son-in-law were sentenced this week in federal court to terms of imprisonment for their roles in a Worcester temporary employment agency fraud scheme.

United States Attorney Michael Sullivan; Joseph Galasso, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation; Kenneth Kaiser, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in New England; Colonel Thomas Robbins, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police; and Gordon Heddell, Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations, announced that Binh Nguy, 43, of Quincy, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Nathaniel Gorton to 6 months’ incarceration, to be followed by 2 years of supervised release, the first 6 months of which are to be spent in home confinement.

Judge Gorton also imposed a forfeiture money judgment against Nguy in the amount of $767,870 and ordered that Nguy forfeit his interests in the temporary employment agencies that were involved in the scheme. Nguys father-in-law, Tuyen Vo 55, of Leominster, was sentenced to 3 years’ probation. Judge Gorton ordered both Nguy and Vo to pay $20,642 in restitution to the two insurance companies that were defrauded.

Nguy pleaded guilty on June 30, 2004, to 11 charges including mail fraud, mail fraud conspiracy, and money laundering conspiracy, for his role in the temporary employment agency scheme. Also in June of this year, Vo pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud conspiracy. Two other co-defendants in the case were previously sentenced pursuant to guilty pleas; Nguy’s wife, April Vo 34, of Quincy, was sentenced on Sept. 9, 2004, to 3 years’ probation, and Tan Ngo, 47, formerly of Malden, who was sentenced on May 14, 2004, to 2 years and 1 month incarceration, to be followed by 3 years of supervised release.

The defendants reportedly admitted their participation in a mail fraud scheme, where Nguy and Ngo twice applied for, and obtained, workers’ compensation insurance coverage for a temporary employment agency in Worcester, called Tri-Mark Temporary Service or Tri-Mark Temps Service (Tri-Mark).

The Tri-Mark applications for workers’ comp insurance reportedly contained false statements misrepresenting the ownership of the business, the number of temporary employees and the types of work they were doing. Documents on file with the court and statements made in court indicated that Tuyen Vo was instrumental in establishing the Tri-Mark business for his sons-in-law, Nguy and Ngo. April Vo, who is Tuyen Vo’s daughter and Nguy’s wife, reportedly assisted in carrying out the scheme, which defrauded both Tri-Mark’s workers’ comp insurance carriers and its client companies.

The money laundering conspiracy charges to which both Nguy and Ngo pleaded guilty arose from their opening and using two Tri-Mark bank accounts, on which they falsely made it appear as if a straw owner was in control.

During the course of the conspiracy, Nguy and Ngo caused $767,870 in client company checks that were proceeds of the fraud scheme to be deposited into the accounts. Cash from the accounts was then used to pay Tri-Mark’s temporary workers, most of whom were reportedly paid under the table, without withholding or deducting for federal and state income taxes, unemployment taxes, and Social Security.

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