A man who created a fake plumbing business as a front for an illegal, large-scale marijuana growing operation has been sentenced to 12 years in prison.
On Tuesday, March 2, Thomas Laverty, 40, of Clinton, was sentenced on prior drug, money laundering, and fraud convictions, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Massachusetts, said.
According to court documents, Laverty, along with co-conspirators, created the phony plumbing business Chuck Laverty & Son Inc., as a cover to grow weed. Laverty and others used the plumbing business’ bank accounts and locations to facilitate growing, storing and distributing cannabis.
At its peak, Chuck Laverty & Son employees were harvesting about 20 marijuana plants per week for a yield of 8-10 pounds of weed. The marijuana was then sold at $2,400 per pound, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
For his work at CL&S, Laverty was paid up to $5,000 per week in cash. At the time he was also receiving federally funded Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, otherwise known as food stamps. To obtain the benefit, Laverty had to lie about his income as well as the fact that he lived with his wife who was also collecting food stamps - essentially double-dipping on the program.
Co-defendant Andrea Laverty, 63, of Milbury, previously pleaded guilty to conspiring to cultivate marijuana and conspiring to launder money, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. She will be sentenced on March 3.
The agencies that participated in the investigation, arrest, and prosection of Laverty include DEA, IRS, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
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