A Braintree, Massachusetts, man has pleaded guilty to a payroll-fraud scheme involving his 4-year-old son and a longshoreman's job, according to the Attorney General of Massachusetts.
Prosecutors allege Brendan Lee, age 40, arranged to have his son, who was four years old at the time, placed on a timesheet for a job off-loading container ships at Massachusetts Port Authority's (Massport) Conley Terminal in South Boston .
Why? So his son would be entitled to higher wages if he ever became a longshoreman when he was actually old enough to do so, prosecutors say. The son would have received a higher rate of pay based on false seniority.
In October 2004, a new International Longshoremen's Association (ILA) master contract went into effect. The new contract contained seven different wages for employees hired before October 1 earning higher rates. The Massachusetts Attorney General's investigation found that in the weeks prior to the contract taking effect, a number of children's names appeared on time sheets, including children of senior, well-connected longshoremen. Six of the children were age 10 or younger.
Prosecutors also allege that Lee committed unemployment fraud by collecting benefits even though he was also working as a lawyer contracted by the Committee for Public Counsel Services.
After changing pleas, Lee pleaded guilty to charges of unemployment fraud (seven counts), larceny of unemployment benefits over $250, and procurement fraud.
Judge Margaret Hinkle of Suffolk Superior Court sentenced Lee to serve two years of probation on the larceny and procurement fraud charges. She sentenced him to weekend house arrest for two months on the unemployment fraud charges.
Source: Massachusetts Attorney General