Massachusetts Man and Construction Companies Charged by Information
On June 18, 2013, Juan J. Alonso and Aguila Construction Company, Inc. of Fitchburg, Massachusetts, were charged with theft or embezzlement from benefit plans, making false statements in documents submitted to benefit plans, and making false statements to the United States Department of Transportation (DOT).
It is alleged that Alonso operated Alonso Construction, Inc. and Aguila Construction Company from the same yard and office in Fitchburg. The companies performed the same type of work, used the same equipment, and used the same laborers and office staff. This "double-breasted" arrangement is often used in the construction industry to avoid paying union members the union wages and benefits.
Between 2008 and 2011, Alonso and Aguila Construction defrauded the benefit funds by running part of the Aguila Construction payroll through Alonso's "non-union" company, Alonso Construction, thereby underreporting the hours actually worked by Local 39 members. Alonso also defrauded the funds by paying Aguila Construction laborers in cash, in order to avoid making hourly payments to the benefit funds. Over the four-year period, the defendants failed to pay approximately $805,338 owed to the funds.
Between 2008 and 2011, Aguila Construction secured several publicly-funded projects, including 12 projects funded by the DOT pursuant to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). As part of the scheme, a portion of this contract work was conducted by Alonso Construction rather than Aguila Construction, the signator to the contracts. In particular, between June 15, 2009, and May 23, 2010, Aguila Construction was subcontracted to perform construction work on an ARRA-funded construction project on Route 2 in Harvard and Littleton. In connection with this project, Aguila Construction completed and sent to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation certified payroll records falsely stating the identity of employees, the number of hours worked and the wages paid.
We are conducting this investigation jointly with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), Office of Inspector General, Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations; and the U.S. DOL, Employee Benefits Security Administration.
Note: Indictments, informations, and criminal complaints are only accusations by the Government. All defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.