Mass. Catches Scofflaw Scaffolders

April 1, 2005

A husband and wife who operated a Massachusetts construction scaffolding company pleaded guilty to paying their employees cash “under-the-table” in order to avoid millions of dollars in taxes, workers compensation insurance premiums and union health and welfare benefits.

Carlos Gomez and Mary Gildea of North Reading paid their employees at least $2.9 million in unreported cash from October 1997 through September 2003, federal prosecutors said.

Gomez and Gildea also provided their workers compensation insurance companies with forged payroll records and forged copies of their tax returns, prosecutors said.

The couple also submitted false monthly payroll reports to the administrators of the trust funds for the laborers and carpenters unions, omitting many workers altogether and understating other workers’ hours, prosecutors said.

Gomez and Gildea operated Somerville-based Lanco Scaffolding Inc..

Gomez and Gildea each face a maximum of five years in prison on each of the 17 counts against them, as well as a fine of $250,000. Gildea also faces a maximum of three years in prison on six additional counts of signing false tax returns.

No sentencing date has been scheduled.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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