Three Individuals from Family-Operated Construction Fraud Ring Sentenced to Prison

Family-Run Construction Fraud Ring Lands 3 in Prison

A 29-year-old woman from Davenport, Florida, Gabriela Inamagua, has become the third individual to plead guilty to federal charges related to a conspiracy to defraud the United States and IRS through the use of shell companies. These companies purportedly supplied laborers to contractors and subcontractors.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Middle District of Florida outlined the charges against Inamagua in a press release. She has been sentenced to 12 months and one day in federal prison and has been ordered to pay $8.9 million in restitution to two victim insurance companies and the IRS.

The fraudulent scheme was not limited to Gabriela Inamagua alone; it was described as a family affair, as her father, Guillermo Inamagua, and her father’s former girlfriend, Mayra Velasquez, were also convicted of similar crimes in 2022.

According to the Claims Journal, the construction industry as a whole is negatively impacted when individuals exploit the system by creating fictitious shell companies.

These entities are used to illegally pay workers off the books, leading to fraudulent claims with insurance companies and the evasion of employment taxes.

Family-Run Construction Fraud Ring Lands 3 in Prison

Tara K. Reed, the Acting Special Agent in Charge of IRS-CI, emphasized the importance of businesses and employees fulfilling their tax obligations. She stated that IRS-CI, along with law enforcement partners, will continue building cases against such schemes and holding those responsible accountable.

Court documents revealed that Gabriela Inamagua was the owner and manager of two “shell” construction companies, Uno Construction and Perfect Builders Group.

These companies falsely claimed to provide construction services and labor for construction contractors and subcontractors. As part of the scheme, the companies were supposed to maintain adequate worker’s compensation insurance coverage for the employees they hired.

Inamagua’s companies entered agreements with contractors and subcontractors, presenting themselves as the employers of the workers, many of whom were undocumented aliens. However, in reality, the workers were employees of the contractors.

During payday, Inamagua’s companies would receive “payroll checks” from the contractors and subcontractors for the purported employees.

The employees were paid in cash under the table, and Inamagua would take a percentage off the top, facilitated by the use of a fraudulent insurance certificate. According to court documents, Inamagua received and cashed over $34 million worth of these checks.

The fraudulent activity extended beyond the manipulation of payroll checks. Inamagua’s inaccurate reporting of employees, payroll, and insurance also led to the evasion of state and federal payroll taxes. The failure to remit the required payroll taxes resulted in $8.9 million in unpaid taxes.

Guillermo Inamagua, aged 57, from Davenport, Florida, was sentenced in July 2022 to 3 years and 10 months in federal prison, forfeiture of $1.6 million, and the forfeiture of two properties in Polk County.

His fraudulent activities involved cashing over $19 million in payroll checks, with unpaid insurance premiums and taxes amounting to $1.5 million and $4.7 million, respectively.

Mayra Velasquez, aged 35, of Apopka, Florida, received over $7 million in checks. Her shell company’s insurers reported $750,000 in unpaid premiums, and unpaid taxes totaled $1.8 million.

In April 2022, she was sentenced to 3 years and 5 months in federal prison, with forfeiture of $600,752 and three properties in Polk County.

I'm Richard Rosales, I cover political news and ongoing US elections.