For Immediate Release - March 31, 2014

Worcester, North Dartmouth Businesses and Owners Indicted in Connection with Failing to Pay into the Unemployment Trust Fund

Businesses Failed to Pay More Than $875,000 in Tax Contributions

BOSTON – Two businesses and their owners have been indicted in connection with failing to pay more than $875,000 into the Commonwealth’s unemployment trust fund, Attorney General Martha Coakley announced today. 

The cases are the result of investigations referred to the Attorney General’s Office by the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development’s Department of Unemployment Assistance (EOLWD\DUA).

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

The Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) administers the Unemployment Insurance program, providing temporary assistance to unemployed workers. Funding for these benefits comes from Massachusetts employers. Employers either pay quarterly contributions into the trust fund or non-profit or governmental employers have the option to self-insure, reimbursing the state dollar-for-dollar for benefits paid.

A Suffolk County Grand Jury returned indictments against the businesses and their owners on March 27. The defendants are charged as follows:

JOHN F. HARVEY / FRANCIS HARVEY AND SONS, INC.

John Harvey, 58, of Holden, and his business, Francis Harvey and Sons, Inc. have each been charged with Non-Payment of Employer Contributions (6 counts).

According to authorities Harvey is the president and treasurer of Francis Harvey and Sons, Inc., a general contractor based in Worcester. Francis Harvey and Sons is required to pay unemployment contributions to DUA. Authorities allege that from April 2011 through October 2012, Harvey continued to pay his employees and file the company’s tax reports, but failed to pay the required unemployment tax to DUA resulting in delinquent payments of more than $805,000.

RICARDO DOPAO / RICARDO’S TOWING SERVICE, INC.

Ricardo Dopao, 45, of New Bedford, and his business, Ricardo’s Towing Service, Inc. have each been charged with Non-Payment of Employer Contributions (23 counts) and Failure to Furnish Information to DUA.

According to authorities Dopao is the president and treasurer of Ricardo’s Towing Service, Inc., a towing company based in North Dartmouth. Ricardo’s Towing Service is required to pay unemployment contributions to DUA. Authorities allege that from April 2008 through October 2013 Ricardo continued to pay his employees and file the company’s tax reports, but failed to pay the required unemployment tax to DUA resulting in delinquent payments of more than $70,000.

A Suffolk County Grand Jury returned indictments against the defendants on March 27. Dopao and Ricardo’s Towing Service, Inc. are scheduled to be arraigned on April 28 in Suffolk Superior Court. Harvey and Francis Harvey and Sons, Inc. will be arraigned at a later date.

DUA’s Revenue Audit and Enforcement Division 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 Revenue Audit and Enforcement works aggressively with the Attorney General’s office and other agencies to recover money owed to the UI Trust Fund.

In 2013, AG Coakley’s Insurance and Unemployment Fraud Division (IUFD) recovered more than $1.4 million in restitution for the state. The IUFD 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 systems. 

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

These cases are being handled by Assistant Attorneys General Jessica Massey and Geoffrey Wood of AG Coakley’s Insurance and Unemployment Fraud Division with assistance from investigators Philip Mantyla and Steven Pfister of the Attorney General’s Office, and Richard Carney, Director of Revenue/Tax, and Joe Pacheco, Director of Audit and Enforcement, from EOLWD\DUA.

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