Lowell Family Members Plead Guilty In Tax Scam

Four members of a Lowell family have pleaded guilty to charges that they schemed to hide $25 million in wages from the Internal Revenue Service, federal prosecutors say.

The family ran a temporary employment agency from 2004 to 2009, during which time they reported to the IRS that their employees made about $2.2 million in wages, when in fact they had made $30 million, the U.S. attorney's office in Boston announced Thursday.

They also defrauded their company's workers compensation insurer of $880,000 in insurance premiums by hiding its true number of employees, according to The Lowell Sun.

Margaret Mathes, 67; Boseba Prum, 47; Sam Pich, 63; and Thaworn Promket, 52, pleaded guilty Thursday. Prosecutors did not disclose the exact family relationships. They are scheduled for sentencing Nov. 24.

Each pleaded guilty to charges of conspiring to defraud the IRS, mail fraud, and violation of laws against structuring money transactions to avoid reporting requirements, as well as other charges.

The defendants, who operated the International Temp Agency and JP Company, covered up unreported wages by withdrawing cash from about 20 bank accounts and paying their workers under the table. They structured the bank transactions, numbering more than 4,300, so they could withdraw the cash needed to pay the workers without triggering federal reporting requirements.

The agency provided short- and long-term unskilled labor to unspecified companies in and around Lowell, including those in the packaging and food service industries, according to prosecutors.

This article was originally published on August 29, 2014.


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