In The News

News - 2017

May. 2017

Benjamin Wish quoted in Boston Globe about dismissal of criminal charges against clients

Benjamin J. Wish was quoted in The Boston Globe about the dismissal of fraud and embezzlement charges against his clients in a federal case involving "double-breasted" businesses and contributions to a union pension fund.

In a highly unusual outcome, the government agreed to dismiss all embezzlement and mail fraud charges involving the firm's clients, a New Hampshire-based asbestos removal company and its owner.  A related company agreed to plead guilty to the charges and make a restitution payment of $500,000, less than 25 percent of the alleged amount at issue.

The case involved complex issues as to whether a non-union employer that operates a so-called "double-breasted" business, where the non-union company is paired with a union company, is obligated to make pension fund contributions to the Massachusetts Laborers Benefits Funds in certain circumstances.

"As the court stated, this is a very confusing area of the law, such that it should be a matter for negotiations between unions and employers, not for a criminal case," Mr. Wish told the Globe.

U.S. District Court Chief Judge Patti B. Saris, in approving the dismissal of charges, said in a court hearing that the case involved "very difficult and murky law," and, absent fraud, the law allows a company to operate a union and non-union shop contemporaneously.