For Immediate Release - April 02, 2013

Maryland Merchandising Services Company Agrees to Pay More Than $117,000 to Resolve Allegations it Failed to Fully Contribute to Unemployment Trust Fund

Settlement Part of Ongoing Effort to Target Employers That Fail to Pay Their Quarterly Unemployment Contributions

BOSTON – A Maryland based merchandising services company has agreed to pay the Commonwealth more than $117,000 to resolve allegations it failed to pay its full unemployment contributions into the Commonwealth’s unemployment trust fund, Attorney General Martha Coakley announced today. 

The settlement is the result of a an investigation by the Attorney General’s Office after the case was investigated and referred by the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development’s Department of Unemployment Assistance (EOLWD\DUA). This case is part of a collaborative effort to target employers that fail to pay their quarterly unemployment contributions.

“Qualifying employers are required to pay contributions to the unemployment compensation fund to ensure that benefits are available for eligible workers,” AG Coakley said.  “Through enforcement, we aim to level the playing field for those businesses that already follow the law and to ensure future compliance.” 

“The requirement to contribute to the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund is a part of the compact Massachusetts employers make with the Commonwealth and their workers,” said Joanne F. Goldstein, Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development. “Working with Attorney General Coakley, we aim to make sure that the small number of employers who decide to break that compact are held accountable.”

Convergence Marketing, Inc. is a Maryland based company that does business and employs workers in Massachusetts. Under the terms of the settlement agreement, Convergence Marketing, Inc. has agreed to pay the Commonwealth a more than $117,500 for failing to pay their full unemployment contributions from January 2009 through December 2012. 

The Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) provides temporary assistance to unemployed workers through the Unemployment Insurance (UI) program, which is funded by employer contributions. Private employers are required to pay quarterly contributions into the trust fund based on the number of workers they employ and how often their workers have accessed UI benefits, among other factors.

DUA’s Program Integrity Department focuses on the prevention, detection and the investigation of those who defraud or attempt to defraud the unemployment insurance program. Once fraud is detected, the Program Integrity Department works aggressively with the Attorney General’s office and other agencies to recover money owed to the UI Trust Fund.

AG Coakley’s Insurance and Unemployment Fraud Division works to protect consumers and the integrity of the insurance system by investigating and prosecuting those who commit fraud against all types of insurers, including the Commonwealth’s unemployment insurance and workers’ compensation system. The prosecution of insurance fraud helps prevent the increase in premiums and taxes that are the result of fraudulent insurance claims. In 2012, the IUFD obtained more than $1,647,000 in restitution orders in 32 matters.

To report unemployment fraud call the EOLWD/DUA’s Fraud Hotline @ 1-800-354-9927 or visit: www.mass.gov/lwd/ui-fraud anytime, 24 hours a day. Callers may remain anonymous.

The case was handled by Assistant Attorney General David Andrews of AG Coakley’s Insurance and Unemployment Fraud Division with assistance from investigator Tracey Wetterlow of the Attorney General’s Office and Richard Carney, Director of Revenue Enforcement and Audit, from EOLWD\DUA.

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