Press Release

Press Release Temp Company Owners Plead Guilty to Wage Theft, Intimidation, and Retaliation Against Warehouse Workers

Defendants Ran “Off-the-Books” Operation and Failed to Pay Employees Minimum Wage and Overtime; Also Pleaded Guilty to Tax and Unemployment Fraud
For immediate release:
12/12/2019
  • Office of Attorney General Maura Healey
  • The Attorney General's Fair Labor Division

Media Contact for Temp Company Owners Plead Guilty to Wage Theft, Intimidation, and Retaliation Against Warehouse Workers

Meggie Quackenbush

BostonTwo temp company owners from Roslindale have pleaded guilty in connection with an elaborate wage theft scheme in which commercial laundry workers were not paid minimum wage or overtime and were intimidated and threatened during an investigation, Attorney General Maura Healey announced today. The defendants also pleaded guilty to tax and unemployment fraud charges.

Fabiola Ramirez, age 49, pleaded guilty in Suffolk Superior Court on the following charges:

Fabiola Ramirez

  • Intimidation of a Witness (three counts)
  • Retaliation (four counts)
  • Willful Failure to Pay Minimum Wage (eight counts)
  • Willful Failure to Pay Overtime (eight counts)
  • Willful Failure to Pay Over Wage Withholding Tax (12 counts)
  • Willful Failure to File Wage Withholding Tax Return (10 counts)
  • Willful Filing of False Wage Withholding Tax Return (two counts)
  • Willful Failure to Make Timely Payment of Wages (four counts)
  • Willful Failure to Furnish Payroll Records to the AG’s Office for Inspection (two counts)
  • Willful Failure to Provide a Suitable Paystub (eight counts)
  • Failure to Issue Temporary Worker Right to Know Notice (eight counts) 

Judge Robert N. Tochka sentenced Ramirez to five years of probation and ordered her to stay away and have no contact with the named victims. He also ordered Ramirez to pay $300 per month in restitution to the Department of Revenue (DOR) and report to probation annually.

Robert Carrion, age 49, pleaded guilty in Suffolk Superior Court to the following charges:

Robert Carrion

  • Intimidation of a Witness (six counts)
  • Retaliation (four counts)
  • Willful Failure to Pay Minimum Wage (eight counts)
  • Willful Failure to Pay Overtime (eight counts)
  • Willful Failure to Pay Over Wage Withholding Tax (12 counts)
  • Willful Failure to File Wage Withholding Tax Return (10 counts)
  • Willful Filing of False Wage Withholding Tax Return (two counts)
  • Willful Failure to Make Unemployment Insurance Contributions (four counts) 
  • Willful Failure to Make Timely Payment of Wages (four counts)
  • Willful Failure to Furnish Payroll Records to the AG’s Office for Inspection (two counts)
  • Willful Failure to Provide a Suitable Paystub (eight counts)
  • Failure to Issue Temporary Worker Right to Know Notice (eight counts)

After his plea was entered in March 2019, while sentencing was pending, Carrion did not appear at a bail revocation hearing scheduled for Oct. 3, 2019. Judge William F. Sullivan ordered a default warrant issued from Suffolk Superior Court. The AG’s Office is working to locate Carrion, who is believed to be in the Dominican Republic.

Carrion and Ramirez owned and operated Country Temp and Country Temp Corporation, which supplied temporary workers to Coliseum Companies, Inc. d/b/a Bay State Linen (Bay State), a commercial laundry company formerly located in Dorchester. Those employees performed manual labor loading and unloading linens from industrial washer, dryer, and pressing machines in a warehouse facility at 9 Ansel Road. Country Temp workers made up the majority of employees at Bay State and were employed at the facility for many months, at times years. Charges against Country Temp Corporation are pending.

The AG’s Fair Labor Division began an investigation after it received several complaints from workers referred by the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 1445 in February 2015. 

The AG’s investigation revealed that the defendants paid employees below minimum wage in an under-the-table payroll operation. The employees did not receive overtime pay despite regularly working upwards of 60 to 70 hours per week, with some regularly working 100 hours in a week. The employees were paid in cash without paystubs listing their hourly rates of pay. 

After the AG’s Office began their investigation, Carrion and Ramirez attempted to intimidate, threaten, and mislead their employees. The defendants threatened cooperating witnesses and other potential witnesses with termination and other forms of harm. Ramirez, for her part, made note of all workers who spoke with the AG’s investigators during a February 2015 site inspection, and proceeded to interrogate and threaten cooperating witnesses. Weeks later, Carrion held a 30-minute meeting with dozens of employees in which he directed them not to cooperate with investigators and made several intimidating and threatening statements.

Further, Carrion and Ramirez reduced the number of hours certain cooperating workers were allowed to work after Ramirez witnessed those workers speaking with investigators from the AG’s Office during a site inspection.

The AG’s further investigation revealed that for various time periods between March 2014 and May 2015, Carrion and Ramirez failed to collect and pay taxes and file related returns to DOR and failed to pay over employer contributions to the Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA).

According to records, over the course of 12 audited months in 2014 and 2015, the defendants processed cash payroll that included more than $1,366,000 in taxable wages, which the defendants failed to report to the Department of Revenue (DOR). This amount includes time periods in 2015 for which defendants filed false withholding tax reports with DOR, underreporting actual wages paid to their employees.

In a separate civil investigation, the AG’s Office reached a settlement on Jan. 4, 2017 with Bay State and its owner, Greg Decious, in which they agreed to pay up to $900,000 in restitution for alleged violations of the state’s minimum wage and overtime laws. Approximately 92 Country Temp workers have received restitution through that settlement to date, including the named victims in the Carrion and Ramirez criminal matters. The AG’s allegations against Bay State (which Bay State denied) were based on joint employer liability.

The AG’s Fair Labor Division has criminal and civil authority to enforce the laws regulating the payment of wages, including prevailing wage, minimum wage, and overtime laws. Workers who believe that their rights have been violated are encouraged to call the Office’s Fair Labor Hotline at (617) 727-3465 or visit the Attorney General’s Workplace Rights website www.mass.gov/ago/fairlabor.

These matters are being handled by Assistant Attorney General Drew Cahill with assistance from Investigator Fransheska Alcantara and Supervising Investigator Jennifer Pak, all of the AG’s Fair Labor Division, Victim-Witness Advocate Lia Panetta of the AG’s Victim/Witness Services Division, the AG’s Digital Evidence Lab, DOR, and DUA.

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Media Contact for Temp Company Owners Plead Guilty to Wage Theft, Intimidation, and Retaliation Against Warehouse Workers

Office of Attorney General Maura Healey 

Attorney General Maura Healey is the chief lawyer and law enforcement officer of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

The Attorney General's Fair Labor Division 

The Attorney General’s Fair Labor Division protects workers from exploitation and sets a level playing field for employers. We enforce wage and hour, public construction, and child labor laws.
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