For Immediate Release - April 30, 2014

Owner of North Dartmouth Business Arraigned in Connection with Failing to Pay into the Unemployment Trust Fund

Business Failed to Pay More Than $70,000 in Tax Contributions

BOSTON – The owner of a North Dartmouth business has been arraigned in connection with failing to pay more than $70,000 into the Commonwealth’s unemployment trust fund, Attorney General Martha Coakley announced today. 

The case is the result of an investigation referred to the Attorney General’s Office by the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development’s Department of Unemployment Assistance (EOLWD\DUA).

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.

Ricardo Dopao, 45, of New Bedford, is 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 Dopao and his business, Ricardo’s Towing Service, Inc. on March 27. Dopao was arraigned on Monday in Suffolk Superior Court where he pleaded not guilty and was released on personal recognizance. He is due back in court on May 28 for a pre-trial conference. Clerk Magistrate Gary Wilson presided over the arraignment. Ricardo’s Towing Service, Inc. is scheduled to be arraigned in Suffolk Superior Court on May 28.

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 Unemployment Insurance 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 Attorney General Geoffrey Wood of AG Coakley’s Insurance and Unemployment Fraud Division with assistance from investigator Steven Pfister of the Attorney General’s Office, and Joe Pacheco, Director of Audit and Enforcement, from EOLWD\DUA.

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