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Press Release

CEO Of New Jersey Engineering Consulting Firm Admits Role In $130,000 Unemployment Insurance Fraud Conspiracy

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Jersey

Also Admits Failure to Collect More Than $100,000 in Payroll Taxes

TRENTON, N.J. – The head of an engineering consulting firm in Wall Township, New Jersey, today admitted that in order to reduce his payroll costs, he launched a scheme in which several of his employees fraudulently collected unemployment benefits while he paid the remaining portion of their salaries, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Lino DeAlmeida Jr., 68, of Point Pleasant, New Jersey, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Freda L. Wolfson in Trenton federal court to an information charging him with one count of conspiracy to defraud the N.J. State Division of Unemployment Insurance (NJUI) and one count of failing to collect Social Security, Medicare, and income payroll taxes.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

DeAlmeida operated an engineering consulting firm, Consolidated Construction Management Services (CCMS) in Wall Township. In late 2011, DeAlmeida told his four employees that due to financial difficulties, he could not continue paying their salaries. He proposed a scheme in which the employees would claim to have been terminated from CCMS and seek unemployment benefits from the NJUI. In return, he promised to continue to pay them “under the table” for the remaining portion of their salaries that would not be covered by the benefits. Three of the CCMS employees agreed to the scheme and submitted false applications with the NJUI.

DeAlmeida’s employee conspirators received a total of $130,363 in benefits between July 2011 and January 2013 while receiving CCMS checks from DeAlmeida. In addition, DeAlmeida failed to pay payroll taxes of $109,068 on the undisclosed wages of $790,860 he and his conspirators received during the scheme.

The conspiracy to defraud the NJUI charge to which DeAlmeida pleaded guilty carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense. The failure to collect payroll taxes charge carries a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense. Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 5, 2016.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General, Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Cheryl Garcia, New York Region; and IRS–Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Jonathan D. Larsen, with the investigation leading to today’s plea.

The government is represented by V. Grady O’Malley, Senior Litigation Counsel of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Organized Crime/Gangs Unit in Newark.

Defense counsel: Jeffrey D. Smith Esq., Teaneck, New Jersey

Updated September 29, 2015

Press Release Number: 15-356