Friday, October 23, 2020

Plainville contractor pleads guilty to stealing $3.3 million in employee wages

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A Plainville business owner pleaded guilty Wednesday to stealing more than $3.3 million from employees in a money laundering scheme stretching back to 2013.

Lee Ferguson, 62, of Farmington, is the owner and operator of Ferguson Electric and Ferguson Mechanical, both based out of Plainville.

According to court documents, Lee deducted between $1.60 to $3.15 per hour from each of his employees’ benefits packages under the guise of “third-party administrative fees” from 2013 to 2017.

“Ferguson knew that the funds were not used to cover any administrative fees for the employees’ pension plans,” said Connecticut District Attorney John Durham in a press release.

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“Instead, this ‘third party administrator fee’ was paid over to TPA of Connecticut, a company that Ferguson established and controlled.

Read MoreContractor pleads guilty in $5M bribery scheme

TPA of Connecticut, in turn, sent the monies to DJS Associates, a Florida company that Ferguson formed for the purported purpose of performing business-consulting services for him and his companies.

However, no such services were performed and Ferguson used the funds for personal expenses.”

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In total, Ferguson stole $3,357,516 from more than 300 employees, Durham said.

On Wednesday, Ferguson waived his right to be indicted and pleaded guilty to one count of money laundering. At his hearing, he expressed remorse for his actions.

“The crime that I pled guilty to today is the result of my actions, and mine alone. I take full and complete responsibility. At no time did anyone else at my former companies participate in or was aware of my actions or motives. I deeply regret any pain that this has caused my former employees and my family,” Ferguson said.

He faces a maximum term of 10 years in prison.

Ferguson, who is out on $50,000 bond, is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 24.

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