The owner of SPL Temp Agency of Lowell has been indicted for workers’ compensation fraud in connection with his agency’s failure to disclose the true size of its payroll to its workers’ compensation insurer. The Attorney General’s Office alleges that Sophea Choeng of Lowell evaded at least $141,194 in workers’ compensation premiums from an under-reporting of his company’s payroll.
According to the results of the Attorney General’s investigation, Mr. Choeng’s company, SPL Temp Agency, “vastly under-reported its payroll during audits conducted by its insurance company in order to reduce the premiums it would be charged for workers’ compensation insurance. More specifically, during the 2013-2014 policy period, the indictments charge that SPL reported $850,221 in payroll when the real payroll number was over $5.3 million. The indictments further allege that this under-reporting of payroll also occurred during the 2014-2015 policy period when “SPL reported $551,591 in payroll, while according to investigators, the agency had a payroll of over $2 million.”
As a result of the investigation, a Middlesex County Grand Jury indicted Mr. Choeng on two counts of Workers’ Compensation Fraud, in addition to two counts of Larceny Over $250. Mr. Choeng is scheduled to be arraigned in Middlesex Superior Court on July 22nd.
The initial investigation was referred to the Attorney General’s Insurance and Unemployment Fraud Unit by the Insurance Fraud Bureau of Massachusetts and is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Joshua Pakstis with assistance from Loreny Bernabe, both of Attorney General Maura Healey’s Insurance and Unemployment Fraud Unit, and investigators at the Insurance Fraud Bureau.
While there has been an indictment with an arraignment pending, the Attorney General’s Office emphasizes that the charges they have made are still allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.