owner of temporary labor firm sentenced to 21 months in prison in connection with bribery scheme
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 26, 2012
CAMDEN, N.J. – The operator of a Philadelphia-based temporary labor firm was sentenced today to 21 months in prison for bribing a senior state labor department official, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Thuan Nguyen, 40, of Philadelphia, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Noel L. Hillman to an Information charging him with one count each of bribery and failure to remit employment taxes. Judge Hillman imposed the sentence today in Camden federal court.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
From 2006 through March 2009, Nguyen operated N&T Staffing Inc. (“N&T”), Janus Staffing (“Janus”), and United Employment Services (“UES”) and was involved in the operation of JNT General Services Inc. (“JNT’), and K&B Staffing Inc. (‘K&B”), all of which were based in the Philadelphia area. The firms provided temporary employees to client businesses, including businesses located in southern New Jersey. Typically, the firms’ contracts with these outside businesses called for the firms to assume the responsibility to withhold and pay state and federal payroll taxes, and to comply with wage, hour and worker’s compensation insurance coverage laws and regulations, in exchange for a flat hourly rate per employee.
Nguyen admitted that from 2006 through December 2008, he paid bribes totaling $145,773 to Joseph Rivera, 56, of Winslow, N.J., a senior investigator with the N.J. Department of Labor, Division of Wage and Hour Compliance. Nguyen admitted he paid the bribes to protect these firms from State of New Jersey audits and inspections of the temporary labor firms’ compliance with payroll tax obligations.
Nguyen also said he was responsible, as the operator of N&T, Janus, and UES, for withholding, collecting, and accounting for and paying to the United States all employment taxes. Nguyen admitted that he willfully failed to collect and truthfully account for these taxes, which caused a tax loss between $400,000 and $1 million.
Rivera pleaded guilty before Judge Hillman to solicitation and acceptance of a bribe and tax evasion and on March 28, 2012, was sentenced to 60 months in prison, three years supervised release and ordered to pay restitution of $250,000. Channavel “Danny” Kong was sentenced on Jan. 26, 2012 to 24 months in prison on one count of bribery and one count of failing to pay federal payroll taxes. James Peyton was sentenced on Jan. 21, 2011, to 42 months in prison for one count of acceptance of a bribe and one count of subscribing to a false tax return.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Hillman sentenced Nguyen to three years of supervised release. As part of his plea, Nguyen has agreed to pay the employment taxes owed, plus interest and penalties, which total more than $400,000.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Shantelle P. Kitchen; and the FBI’s South Jersey Resident Agency, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael B. Ward, with the investigation leading to today’s sentencing.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew J. Skahill of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Camden.
Defense counsel: William J. Brennan Esq., Philadelphia