Navillus Irish New York construction executives guilty of fraud

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The founder, payroll administrator and financial controller of construction company Navillus have been convicted of wire fraud, mail fraud and embezzlement of benefits funds, among other charges.

Donal O’Sullivan (60), founder of Navillus Contracting, his sister Helen O’Sullivan (61) who is a payroll administrator, and company financial controller Padraig Naughton (49) were convicted of fraud At New York. Having been found guilty, after a three-week trial, they could face up to 20 years in prison, according to the US prosecutor’s office.

Navillus Contracting is one of New York’s largest construction companies and was founded over 30 years ago by Donal, Leonard and Kevin O’Sullivan of Ballinskelligs, County Kerry. The three leaders were convicted of wire fraud, mail fraud, embezzlement of employee benefits funds, false reporting of payments to union benefit funds and conspiracy to commit these crimes.

A US Department of Justice statement on the case said “the defendants have engaged in a multi-year fraud scheme designed to avoid paying required contributions to their employees.”

Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, who announced the guilty verdict, said, “This office and its law enforcement partners will continue to investigate and prosecute these types of crimes. flagrant fraud that harms workers. ”

The Justice Department statement explains that Navillus was a signatory to several collective agreements that required the company to make contributions to employee benefit funds, such as health, retirement and vacation funds, for all “work. covered ”carried out by its workers on construction sites. . Between 2011 and 2017, the defendants engaged in a scheme to avoid making these mandatory contributions by placing some of the Navillus workers on the payroll of another company (the “Consulting Company”).

The consulting firm then issued weekly paychecks to these Navillus workers for the work they did on the Navillus construction work. In order to conceal the scheme from the statutory auditors of the provident funds, the defendants tricked the consulting company into issuing fraudulent invoices to cover up the fact that the funds that Navillus had issued to the consulting company were intended to reimburse the company. consulting the salaries that the consulting company had paid to Navillus workers.

Donal O’Sullivan, Helen O’Sullivan and Padraig Naughton were indicted in July 2020 for conspiring to avoid making more than $ 1 million in payments to union compensation funds between 2011 and 2017. All three resigned afterwards. their arrest by issuing a statement that they had “no choice but to urge us to clear our names.”

They now face up to 20 years in prison each.

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