Massachusetts employment agency owner charged with underreporting payroll in workers’ compensation case

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April 16, 2019

The operator of a Worcester, Mass., employment agency was arrested on Friday and charged in federal court with two counts of wire fraud, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

According to criminal complaint, Tam Vuong controlled UT Services, which paid most of its workers in cash as part of a plan to underreport wages and minimize its workers’ compensation insurance premium. UT Services also allegedly distributed false certificates of insurance to several customers and underreported its payroll in various state and federal documents.

Vuong reportedly told his insurance company, Travelers Insurance Co., that the company had just one employee and an annual payroll of $50,000, when in reality UT Services had dozens of employees. and a much higher payroll.

According to court documents, Vuong previously operated other employment agencies, including Prime Labor Services, which had revenues of more than $25 million and also underreported salaries. Vuong transferred operations from Prime Labor Services to UT Services after federal agents executed search warrants in November 2017, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Vuong was also convicted in 2010 in state court of misclassifying workers and cheating Travelers Insurance Co. out of more than $500,000 in premiums, WorkCompCentral reported. He was sentenced to probation and restitution.

Each count of wire fraud carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, up to three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000.

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