Owner of Asbestos Abatement Company Sentenced for Defrauding Union Benefit Funds
BOSTON – The owner of an asbestos abatement and demolition services company was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Boston for paying employees in cash in order to avoid paying union benefits and employment taxes.
Ronald P. Mulcahey, 53, of Andover, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Richard G. Stearns to one year and one day in prison, one year of supervised release and ordered to pay $266,983 in restitution. In October 2016, Mulcahey pleaded guilty to making false statements in documents submitted to benefit plans subject to the provisions of Title I of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) and tax evasion.
Mulcahey was the owner and sole corporate officer of Wing Inc. Specialty Trades, EWT-Fireproofing, Inc., and Wing Environmental, Inc. Wing Environmental provided asbestos abatement and demolition services. The company had a collective bargaining agreement with Laborer’s International Union of North America, Local 1421. As a union employer, Wing Environmental was required to accurately report to the union benefit funds the number of hours worked by its union employees and to make the corresponding contributions to the funds. Between January 2008 and June 2011, Mulcahey engaged in a scheme through Wing Environmental to defraud the union benefit funds by paying some of the union employees in cash. By keeping the cash payments off-the-books, Mulcahey and Wing Environmental falsely underreported the union workers’ hours in order to avoid making the required hourly payments to the benefit funds. Union benefit funds are used to provide healthcare, pensions and other services to union members.
Wing Specialty Trades and EWT-Fireproofing were non-union companies that provided asbestos abatement, demolition and fireproofing services. All of Mulcahey’s companies were required by federal tax law to accurately report their total payments to employees and to withhold and pay the IRS the applicable employment and income taxes. Between January 2008 and June 2011, Mulcahey defrauded the IRS by paying certain employees of all three of his companies in cash. By keeping the cash payments off-the-books, Mulcahey falsely underreported his workers’ wages to the IRS and avoided paying employment taxes on the unreported wages.
Acting United States Attorney William D. Weinreb; Michael C. Mikulka, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General, New York Regional Office; Joel P. Garland, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Boston Field Office; and Susan A. Hensley, Regional Director of the Employee Benefits Security Administration, made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kristina E. Barclay and Ryan DiSantis of Weinreb’s Public Corruption Unit prosecuted the case.