Which Fraud Leads to Jail

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United States VISA in a european passport with stamps.

Volodymyr Ogorodnychuk was a not good manager. Ogorodnychuk, of Key West, Florida managed four companies, Paradise Choice, Paradise Choice Cleaning, Tropical City Services and Tropical City Group. All staffing companies in southern Florida. These companies contracted with Keys’ hotels, bars and restaurants to provide employees and assumed full responsibility for ensuring that workers were legally authorized to work in the United States and that federal employment taxes were withheld and paid to the IRS.

But you know where we are going with this story. Despite the commitment by his companies, Ogorodyncuk not only knew that his workers were not authorized to work in the United States, but also knowingly paid the workers without withholding Social Security, Medicare and income taxes from their wages. He also admitted to defrauding the IRS out of more than $3.5 million in employment taxes, from January 2016 to October 2020. From the scheme, Ogorodyncuk admitted making personally $272,000 in addition to the financial gains from operating his businesses off the labor of illegal aliens.

Strangely enough, out of all the crimes’ Ogorodnychuk committed, the only reason he received prison time was because he didn’t pay the government it’s due. Ogorodnychuk was sentenced to four years in prison for not paying Social Security, Medicare and income taxes from the wages of very illegal immigrants that he took advantage of. Apparently harboring illegal aliens isn’t criminal enough to get punished for.

Good job by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in their continual fight against immigration fraud.

Today’s Fraud of the Day is based on an article, “Manager of Key West Labor Staffing Companies sentenced for Tax Crimes and Immigration Fraud” published by CBS News Service on August 9, 2022

A manager of Key West staffing companies that provided workers to hotels, bars and restaurants has been sentenced to four years in prison on tax and immigration charges.Volodymyr Ogorodnychuk, of Key West, helped operate Paradise Choice LLC, Paradise Choice Cleaning LLC, Tropical City Services LLC, and Tropical City Group LLC and provided workers who were not authorized to work in the United States to businesses, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

The department said Ogorodnychuk acknowledged in a plea agreement that Social Security, Medicare, and income taxes were not withheld from the workers’ wages and that the wages were not reported to the Internal Revenue Service.The department said the IRS was defrauded out of more than $3.5 million in employment taxes.

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Larry Benson, Senior Director of Strategic Alliances, LexisNexis Risk Solutions - Government

Larry Benson is responsible for developing strategic partnerships and solutions for the government vertical. His expertise focuses on how government programs are defrauded by criminal groups, and the approaches necessary to prevent them from succeeding.

Mr. Benson has 30 years of experience in sales and business development. Before joining LexisNexis® Risk Solutions, he spent 12 years founding and managing two software technology startups. During the 1990s he spent 10 years as a Regional Director helping to grow a New England-based technology company from 300 employees to 7,000. He started his career with Martin Marietta Aerospace working on laser guided weapons and day/night vision systems.

A sought-after speaker and accomplished writer, Mr. Benson is the principal author of “Fraud of the Day,” a website dedicated to educating government officials about how criminals are defrauding government programs. He has co-authored WTF? Where’s the Fraud? How to Unmask and Stop Identity Fraud’s Drain on Our Government, and Data Personified, How Fraud is Changing the Meaning of Identity.

Benson holds a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Albright College, and earned two graduate degrees – a Master of Business Administration from Florida Institute of Technology, and a Master of Science in Engineering from Lehigh University.