LOWELL -- Four members of a Lowell family have pleaded guilty to charges they schemed to hide $25 million in wages from the IRS.

The four, whose exact relationship to one another wasn't disclosed by the U.S. Attorney's Office, ran a temporary employment agency from 2004 to 2009, during which time they reported to the IRS that their employees made about $2.2 million in wages.

In reality, they had made about $30 million during that time.

They also defrauded the company's workers-compensation insurer, Granite State Insurance Co., by hiding its true number of employees, therefore saving about $880,000 in insurance premiums, according to the office of Massachusetts U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz.

The four defendants, who operated their agency under the name International Temp Agency and JP Company, covered up unreported wages by withdrawing cash from about 20 bank accounts and paying their workers under the table. They structured the bank transactions, numbering more than 4,300, so they could withdraw the cash needed to pay the workers without triggering federal reporting requirements, Ortiz's office said.

The temp agency provided short- and long-term unskilled labor to unspecified companies in and around Lowell, including those in the packaging and food service industries, according to Ortiz's office.

Those being charged are Margaret Mathes, 67, Boseba Prum, 47, Sam Pich, 63, and Thaworn Promket, 52.


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Their guilty pleas were announced Thursday.

All four pleaded guilty to charges of conspiring to defraud the IRS, mail fraud, and violation of laws against structuring money transactions to avoid reporting requirements.

Prum also pleaded guilty to 10 counts of filing false employment tax returns, six counts of mail fraud, and two counts of structuring monetary transactions.

Pich also pleaded guilty to 17 counts of assisting the filing of false employment tax return, six counts of mail fraud and two counts of structuring monetary transactions.

Promket also pleaded guilty to seven counts of filing false employment-tax returns, six counts of mail fraud and two counts of structuring monetary transactions.

The defendants were indicted last September. They are scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 24 by U.S. Senior District Judge Mark L. Wolf.

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