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Temp firm operators get prison time

September 28 2007

Three Massachusetts temporary employment agency operators were sentenced to prison this week for not paying payroll taxes and defrauding their workers compensation insurance carriers, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Massachusetts reported.

Tina Le, 50, of Quincy MA was sentenced to 97 months, more than eight years, for her role. Her boyfriend, Steven Nguyen, 48, of Quincy was sentenced to 87 months, more than seven years. Le's daughter, Mercedes Acar, 32, of Quincy, was sentenced to 70 months, almost six years.

The defendants operated a temporary employment agency from December 1995 through 2004. They provided hundreds of workers to factories and warehouses in the Boston area and Western and Southeastern Massachusetts during that time, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. Most of the employees were paid in cash and the payments weren't reported to the Internal Revenue Services, according to the office. The unreported payroll totaled approximately $30 million.

The three hid their activities using shell corporations, according to the government. They would claim to have shut down one company and re-incorporate under another name. The names of the shell corporations included Mass Labor Services, Labor Staffing and Star Labor Staffing.

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