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Police & Fire

City Man Pleads Guilty To Temp Staffing Scheme

Justice Photo Credit: Pixabay/Ezequiel_Octaviano

A former city resident has pled guilty to ripping off U.S. tax-payers through a cash-wage scam he ran at local temp staffing agencies.

On Tuesday, Jan. 26, Julio Lopez, 43, of Los Angeles, but formerly of Worcester, pled guilty to two counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiring to defraud the United States, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Massachusetts said.

According to court documents, Lopez worked for three Worcester-based employment agencies where he misrepresented the number of the companies’ employees as well as the wages earned by the employees.

Those companies were Bay State (which closed in 2017), Prime Labor, and UT Services.

While working at at least one of the staffing agencies, Lopez paid employees in cash and did not deduct payroll taxes from the wages, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. At all three agencies, Lopez lied to the IRS about how many employees worked there and what they were paid.

The owner of UT Services, Tam Vuong, has also been charged in the relation to the scheme, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. Vuong also oversaw Prime Labor. He was indicted on fraud and tax charges in August 2019.

Lopez is slated to be sentenced in U.S. District Court on April 27. He is facing up to 20 years in prison for wire fraud and up to five years in prison on the conspiracy charge, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Among the agencies that investigated, arrested, and prosecuted Lopez are the FBI, IRS, the Insurance Fraud Bureau of Massachusetts, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office. 

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