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Rhode Island Executive Ordered to Pay $171,000 in Restitution for Avoiding to Pay Union Benefits on Highway Projects

On April 15, 2016, Steven Pagliarini, of Johnston, RI, was sentenced in U.S. District Court, Providence, RI, to 3 years of probation, $171,695 in restitution, and 1,000 hours of community service. 

On January 28, 2016, Pagliarini pleaded guilty to falsification of documents and mail fraud in connection with his role in a scheme to avoid paying contractually obligated union benefits for employees who worked the $610 million FHWA-funded I-Way (Interstate 95) Relocation Project and the federally-funded Hartford Park Project in Providence.

Steven Pagliarini served as the Central Landscape Construction Company (Central Landscape) Executive Vice-President and Treasurer and is the Executive Vice-President of Central Nurseries, Inc. Pagliarini orchestrated a scheme to avoid paying contractually obligated union benefits for employees of two unions by paying a portion of the employees’ wages through Central Nurseries, a non-union company. In addition, Pagliarini allegedly provided false information to the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training (RIDLT) regarding the employment status of some of his Central Nurseries employees. Based on the information provided to RIDLT, the employees were paid unemployment compensation while still performing work on behalf of Central Nurseries and Central Landscape.

Between January 2007 and December 2010, Pagliarini submitted false documents to union welfare and pension plan administrators of two unions that represent construction equipment operators and other employees of Central Landscape. The documents did not accurately reflect the actual number of hours worked by some employees and the amount of wages paid to those employees. Central Landscape performed work on approximately seven different DOT related projects in addition to the FHWA-funded I-Way project in Providence.

On March 31, 2016, FHWA suspended Central Landscape, Central Nurseries, Steven Pagliarini, Paul Pagliarini, and James Pagliarini. Paul Pagliarini served as President, and James Pagliarini served as Vice-President of Central Landscape and Central Nurseries.

DOT-OIG is working this investigation jointly with the DOL-OIG.  

Note: A suspension or debarment frequently covers a specific period of time. Please consult the System for Award Management to determine whether a company or individual is currently suspended or debarred.