EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

November 4, 2012

Amesbury man facing $445,000 tax evasion charge

Landscape company president faces 22 counts

By Dave Rogers Staff Writer
The Eagle-Tribune

---- — AMESBURY — The president and treasurer of a local landscaping company, Green Company Landscaping & Irrigation, is expected to be arraigned today in Suffolk Superior Court in Boston on 22 counts of tax evasion over a span of six years.

According to Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley’s office, Bruce Bourassa, 43, of Willowdale Court, Amesbury, failed to pay more than $445,000 in employer contributions, including interest, to the state’s unemployment trust fund from 2006 until January 2012.

Bourassa was indicted by a Suffolk County grand jury in late September on the charge of non-payment of employer contributions, according to Coakley’s office.

A call to Bourassa’s residence last night was not immediately returned.

According to authorities, Bourassa has been the president and treasurer of Green Company since 1997. Authorities allege that although the company had previously complied with its employer tax contributions, it stopped paying the necessary taxes beginning in October 2006 through January 2012. During this time, the company continued to operate and pay wages to its workers. As a result of the alleged fraud, Bourassa and Green Company failed to pay more than $445,000 in required contributions, including interest.

Despite the company’s lack of contribution to the unemployment fund, workers formerly employed by Green Company were able to collect more than $595,000 in benefits after their separation from the business.

The prosecution of insurance fraud helps prevent the increase in premiums and taxes that are the result of fraudulent insurance claims, officials say. In 2011, Coakley’s Insurance and Unemployment Fraud Division obtained $5,578,934 in restitution orders in 33 matters.

The case against Bourassa is being handled by assistant attorneys general Jennifer Adreani and David Andrews, chief of Coakley’s Insurance and Unemployment Fraud Division, with assistance from investigators Tracey Wetterlow and Rose Bagalawis of the attorney general’s office and Richard Carney, director of revenue enforcement and audit.