EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU) — The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced in a press release Thursday that a Lackawanna County man faces charges of commercial bribery and tax fraud.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania said that Jason R. Bonnewell, age 41, of North Abington Township, was indicted by a federal grand jury for conspiring to commit honest services fraud and filing false tax returns.
According to U.S. Attorney Gerard M. Karam, the indictment alleges that during his time as a supervisor at a Pennsylvania food services company from 2014 to 2019, Bonnewell and his coconspirators accepted cash bribes and other valuable items from individuals who owned and operated Global Staffing Services, Inc. and Penns Independent Staffing, two companies that leased temporary employees to Bonnewell’s company.
Karam says in exchange for the cash and valuables, Bonnewell and his coconspirators reportedly hired and entered into contracts with the temporary employees from the two staffing agencies.
According to the release, Bonnewell and his co-defendants allegedly paid over $13,000,000 to the two staffing companies, in exchange for hundreds of thousands of dollars in kickbacks.
U.S. Officials say Bonnewell was also charged with three counts of filing false tax returns, from 2017 through 2019. Bonnewell reportedly failed to disclose the cash payments on his tax returns, ultimately underreporting his total and adjusted gross income for each year.
Five other individuals were previously prosecuted in this investigation:
- Mark Holmes, age 66, of Hughes Springs, Texas, as the General Manager of the Pennsylvania food services company, pleaded guilty to accepting approximately $400,000 in bribes and kickbacks from Global Staffing Services, Inc. and Penns Independent Staffing, in exchange for hiring their employees. The two temporary staffing agencies reportedly received around $7,800,000 from Holmes’s employer. Holmes also pleaded guilty to failing to remit approximately $135,000 in employment taxes to the IRS that were owed by Encore Staffing Solutions LLC, another temporary staffing company that he owned and operated. Encore Staffing Solutions LLC leased temporary employees to manufacturing businesses throughout Pennsylvania. Holmes is awaiting sentencing.
- Nari Lam, age 31, of Wilmington, Delaware, pleaded guilty to failing to remit employment taxes to the IRS. From 2016 through 2020, Nari Lam, as the owner of the temporary staffing company Penns Independent Staffing, failed to pay approximately $300,000 in employment taxes owed by Penns Independent Staffing to the IRS. Nari Lam is also awaiting sentencing.
- Madeline Nieves, age 49, of Plains, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty to a tax fraud conspiracy. Nieves conspired with other individuals to defraud the IRS, from 2018 to 2020, in connection with staffing company Encore Staffing Solutions LLC, which she owned and operated. Nieves failed to report Encore Staffing Solutions LLC employee wages to the IRS, resulting in around $67,000 in employment taxes owed, but never paid, by Encore to the IRS. Nieves also failed to report her own personal income from Encore Staffing Solutions LLC to the IRS. Nieves is also awaiting sentencing.
- Danny Sing, age 60, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty to conspiring with other individuals to evade federal income taxes for approximately $1,600,000 in wages paid by Global Staffing Services, Inc. to its employees, and to failing to withhold and remit approximately $1,360,000 in federal employment taxes to the IRS. Danny Sing and his coconspirators paid Global Staffing Services, Inc. employees in cash, paid themselves in cash, and cashed every check received from Global Staffing Services, Inc.’s clients, to conceal the income and wages from the IRS. The criminal activities allegedly occurred between 2013 and 2020. Sing also pleaded guilty to providing in excess of approximately $400,000 in bribes and kickbacks to managers and supervisors at Global Staffing Services, Inc.’s client, to obtain business for Global Staffing Services, Inc. Sing also awaits sentencing.
- Den Lam, age 49, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was charged with allegedly conspiring with other individuals to evade federal income taxes for approximately $1,600,000 in wages paid by Global Staffing Services, Inc. to its employees. Den Lam also was charged with failing to withhold and remit approximately $1,360,000 in federal employment taxes owed, but never paid, by Global Staffing Services, Inc. to the IRS.
These cases were investigated by the IRS Criminal Investigations Division and are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Phillip J. Caraballo.
The maximum penalty under federal law for each tax offense is five years in prison, a term of supervised release following prison, and a fine.
The maximum penalty under federal law for the commercial bribery offense is 20 years in prison, a term of supervised release following the prison term, and a fine.