Arrests made in alleged ‘ghost worker’ scam in Virginia

 

From the Loudoun Times-Mirror, Evan Goodenow reports on a scheme to defraud a temporary staffing agency and/or its client by submitting fake timesheets for fake employees. Evan writes:

An alleged wage theft scam involving “ghost workers” could come back to haunt two Leesburg residents and a Manassas man.

The three are alleged to have embezzled $257,086 from Purcellville-based Beckstrom Electric. According to a criminal complaint and news release, Manassas resident Raul Gonzales Ascencio, owner of R. Gonzalez Sheet Metal and 3RG Systems, a temporary worker agency, hatched the plot. He allegedly enlisted Leesburg residents and Beckstrom employees Franciso Antonio Aguilar Paz and his brother, Jose Alfonso Aguilar Paz to charge wages to Beckstrom for fake employees via time sheets. The alleged scam purportedly began in December 2020 and was discovered in May.

The complaint said police were contacted by Beckstrom’s owners on May 6 about the scam and alleged thefts of scrap copper from job sites. The three suspects are also accused of stealing $46,823 in scrap copper and selling it to local scrap metal dealers. The brothers were interviewed by detectives from the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office Financial Crimes Unit.

“Franciso Aguilar Paz stated he was asked by Raul Gonzales to create fraudulent time sheets for ghost workers that were not on the job site and submit the time sheets to Beckstrom Electric,” the complaint said. “Aguilar Paz stated Raul Gonzales told him they would split the money Beckstrom Electric paid his company for the ghost workers.”

Read the full story at Arrests made in alleged ‘ghost worker’ scam | News | loudountimes.com

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