A husband and wife who operated a Massachusetts construction scaffolding company have been charged with paying employees
“under-the-table” in order to evade millions of dollars in payroll taxes,
workers’ compensation insurance premiums and union health and welfare benefits.
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; Gordon Hedell, inspector general of the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations; James Benages, regional director of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration; and Daniel Skelly, chief of Investigations for the Insurance Fraud Bureau of Massachusetts, announced that Carlos Gomez, 52, and Mary Gildea, 47, both of North Reading,
Massachusetts, have been charged in an Information filed today in federal court in Boston.
Gomez and Gildea are charged with conspiring to defraud the
United States and to commit mail fraud. In addition, they are charged with multiple counts of mail fraud and with making false statements in records required by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”). Gildea is also charged with signing false federal employment tax returns.
According to the Information, Gomez and Gildea operated a construction service company known as Lanco Scaffolding Inc. which maintained business offices in Somerville, Massachusetts. Lanco is in the business of supplying, erecting and dismantling scaffolding, primarily for use in construction projects.
The payroll fraud is alleged to have operated at several levels:
First, it is alleged that Gomez and Gildea paid many of Lanco’s employees cash “under-the-table,” concealing this cash payroll from the IRS. From October 1997 through September 2003, Gomez and Gildea paid Lanco workers at least $2.9 million in unreported cash.
Second, it is alleged that Gomez and Gildea provided their workers’
comp insurance companies with forged payroll records and forged
“copies” of their tax returns, thus reporting even lower payroll figures to the insurers than the already fraudulent numbers reported to the IRS.
Third, it is alleged that Gomez and Gildea submitted false monthly payroll reports to the administrators of the Laborers’ Union Trust Funds and Carpenters’ Union Trust Funds, omitting many workers altogether and understating other workers’ hours. These reports to the pension funds were backed up with forged “copies” of Lanco’s tax returns.
The defendants were not arrested today. They will be summonsed to appear in court at a later unspecified date. If convicted, Gomez and Gildea each face up to 5 years in prison on each of the conspiracy, mail fraud and ERISA false statement charges (17 counts in total), as well as a fine of $250,000.
Additionally, Gildea faces 3 years in prison on each of the 6 counts of
signing false tax returns.
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