This Month in Corruption: Trash Scam, Hidden Funds, Medicare Data Breach, etc.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Not Nice to Bamboozle Landfill Operators.  Stephen P. Aguiar, Jr., age 47, the owner of a trash company, pleaded guilty on April 11 in federal court in Boston in connection with defrauding the operator of the Fall River Landfill out of approximately $473,000 in disposal fees.  According to the Office of Acting U.S. Attorney William D. Weinreb of the District of Massachusetts, "Aguiar was one of the owners and operators of Cleanway Disposal & Recycling, Inc., a trash removal and recycling company, and JS Aguiar Enterprises, Inc., a construction and equipment rental company, which were both located in Westport.  Aguiar contracted with the company operating the Fall River Landfill to dispose of trash collected from his private clients outside of Fall River for one rate, and to dispose of trash collected from his private clients outside of Fall River for a higher rate...Between 2009 and 2014, Aguiar misrepresented the origin of a significant portion of the trash he disposed of at the landfill.  Aguiar claimed he was disposing trash from the Fall River Housing Authority when in fact he was disposing trash collected from his private clients, thereby defrauding Fall River Landfill of approximately $473,000 in revenue."  Aguiar, who faces up to 20 years in prison, is scheduled to be sentenced in Boston on July 17.

Feds Not Happy When You Don' Come Clean with Them.  A former member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, John George, Jr., of Dartmouth, was indicted on April 13 on one count of obstruction of justice in connection with concealing approximately $2.5 million in cash from the U.S. District Court of Boston following his sentencing proceedings in 2015.  According to the Office of Acting U.S. Attorney William D. Weinreb, George, age 70, was sentenced to 70 months in prison and was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $688,772 and forfeiture of $1.38 million for embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Southeastern Regional Transit Authority.  "George, however, reported to the Court that he only possessed approximately $28,000 in cash.  In late 2015 and early 2016, the U.S. Attorney's Office, working with the U.S. Marshalls Service and the Internal Revenue Service's Criminal Investigations, recovered more than $2.5 million in cash, as well as Rolex watches and jewelry that George had concealed in safe deposit  boxes in New Bedford and Fairhaven."

Victims of Medicare Data Breach Number in the Thousands.  Lynrolte Cezaire, age 29, a resident of Medford, and a former employee of the Tufts Health Plan, was convicted on April 12 by a federal jury in Boston of stealing the identifying information of more than three thousand Medicare customers.  According to the Office of Acting U.S. Attorney William D. Weinreb, Cezaire worked in the Medicare enrollment department at Tufts Health Plan in Watertown from 2011 to 2014.  "During her employment, Cezaire helped a coworker, Emeline Lubin, photograph Cezaire's computer screen while it displayed lists of Medicare customers' names, dates of birth and Social Security numbers," a release from Weinreb's office states.  "Lubin then gave the information to Sniders Jean-Jacques, a Florida man, who, along with Lubin's brother, Marvin Lubin, was involved in a scheme to use stolen identities to steal Social Security benefits and to file false tax returns to collect the refunds."  Cezaire is scheduled for sentencing on July 13.

Little Thefts at Post Office Add Up to Big Number.  Carlitos Molina, age 36, the former postmaster of the U.S. Postal Services Post Offices in Blackstone and Jefferson (MA), pleaded guilty on April 26 in federal court in Worcester to stealing approximately $31,000 from the Postal Services. According to the Office of Acting U.S. Attorney William D. Weinreb, Molina, while he served as postmaster, "stole 65 postal money orders and used them to obtain cash for personal use, to pay for personal services, and to pay personal debts.  Specifically, Molina used stolen money orders to pay his home mortgage, water, cable and electricity bills, back taxes, a collections agency to which he owed money, and for car repairs.  In total, Molina embezzled approximately $31,000.  In addition, when confronted by postal management, Molina lied and stated that he had used certain money orders to pay for repairs to the post office facility."  Molina, who faces up to 10 years in prison, is due to be sentenced on July 20.

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