Worcester Man Sentenced for Wire Fraud and Tax Offenses
BOSTON – A Worcester man was sentenced today for federal tax and fraud charges arising from his role in overseeing various Worcester-based employment agencies.
Tam Vuong, 46, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Timothy S. Hillman to 25 months in prison and three years of supervised release. Vuong was also ordered to pay restitution and forfeiture in amounts to be determined at a later date. On Aug. 5, 2021, Vuong pleaded guilty to 14 counts of wire fraud and four counts of failing to pay taxes.
Vuong oversaw Prime Labor LLC and UT Services, Inc., which were employment agencies based in Worcester. Each agency paid a few employees by check but paid most employees in cash. Each agency failed to report or pay taxes on the wages paid in cash, which Vuong fraudulently concealed in tax filings and insurance audits. Vuong concealed millions of dollars in cash wages that were paid to Prime Labor workers and additional cash wages paid by UT Services. Between 2012 and 2017, more than $30 million in Prime Labor client company checks were cashed at a check-cashing business in Worcester; Prime Labor paid millions of these dollars in cash wages and then failed to report these wages to the IRS or to its insurer.
In addition, while in his role overseeing and controlling UT Services, Vuong falsely told UT Services’ insurance carrier that the company had only one employee and an annual payroll of only $50,000, when, in actuality, UT Services had dozens of employees and a significantly higher payroll. UT Services disseminated forged certificates of insurance to several clients and failed to inform clients when its workers’ compensation policy was cancelled.
Vuong shifted operations from Prime Labor to UT Services after federal search warrants were executed in November 2017. Vuong took steps to hide his role with both Prime Labor and UT Services.
In January 2021, Julio Lopez, a former employee of Prime Labor and UT Services, pleaded guilty to wire fraud and tax charges and is currently scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 15, 2021. Linda Le, a former employee of UT Services, was sentenced in May 2021 to two years of probation after pleading guilty to perjury for giving false testimony before a federal grand jury.
Acting United States Attorney Nathaniel R. Mendell; Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division; Joleen D. Simpson, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation; and Anthony DiPaolo, Chief of Investigations of the Insurance Fraud Bureau of Massachusetts made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney William Abely, Chief of Mendell’s Criminal Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney Adam Deitch, of Mendell’s Criminal Division, prosecuted the case.