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Owner of Cleaning Services Company in Providence, RI, Faces Wage Theft, Workers’ Comp Fraud Charges

claire-anderson-Vq__yk6faOI-unsplash-300x200Prosecutors in Providence, RI, are accusing the owner of a cleaning services company of wage theft and failing to pay workers’ comp insurance coverage for his employees.

Marcello Pompa, 37, of Saugus, MA, was charged with wage theft, failure to pay workers’ compensation insurance, and workers’ compensation fraud. Attorney information wasn’t available.

According to a press release from the state attorney general’s office, the accused is the owner of M&M Cleaning of MA, LLC. His company was reportedly contracted at Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI) between 2017 and 2019 at the school’s Providence, Lincoln, and Warwick campuses.

The cleaning services company owner, who employed 25 workers at the time, is accused of failing to pay an estimated $10,880 in wages before his company went out of business in March 2019. The unpaid workers reported that he didn’t pay them from March 4 to March 15, 2018. They allegedly told investigators that they noticed irregularities on their pay stubs, were paid on different days, and at times were paid with personal checks from him.

The business owner is also accused of failing to maintain workers’ compensation insurance coverage for his workers from December 1, 2017 to September 22, 2018. He was charged with workers’ compensation fraud for allegedly falsely reporting payroll information to his insurance provider. Records show that he fraudulently reported his company had an annual payroll of $10,000 in 2018. However, tax records show the company reported approximately $388,311 in wages during the previous year. The misrepresented figure purportedly enabled him to obtain a lower workers’ comp insurance premium.

Federal prosecutors claim Pompa was able to gain a competitive advantage in bidding for contracts like the one at CCRI because he kept his business expenses artificially low.

“Wage theft is a persistent problem in Rhode Island and addressing it has been one of my top priorities,” State Attorney General Peter F. Neronha said in a press release. “When employers cheat their employees out of hard-earned wages, they are not only hurting those employees and their families, but also gaining an unfair advantage over businesses that are playing by the rules.”

This is not the business owner’s first run-in with the law. In 2019, records show he pleaded guilty to five counts of workers’ compensation fraud and larceny over $250. He was sentenced to one year in prison and was ordered to pay $74,000 in restitution. He was also ordered not to work on municipal contracts or participate in municipal contract bids for two years.

Businesses that operate without workers’ compensation coverage risk civil and criminal penalties. Under-reporting worker payroll, number of workers, and worker risk classifications while applying for insurance can minimize the cost of coverage. However, it becomes immediately apparent to the state if there’s a misrepresentation once a claim is made, especially if it involves serious injury or death. If your business is being investigated by the government for workers’ comp fraud, then you should immediately consult an experienced attorney to discuss your rights and what you need to do to protect yourself against the allegations.

Miami Workers’ Compensation Fraud Defense Attorney 

Are you a business owner accused of workers’ compensation fraud? Contact Brian Silver, P.A. for a free initial consultation with one of Miami’s most experienced workers’ compensation fraud defense attorneys.

Source: 7.9.20 attorney general charges former owner of cleaning company with theft, workers comp fraud.pdf

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