- Associated Press - Friday, January 29, 2016

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - An executive with a Rhode Island nursery and landscaping company has pleaded guilty to orchestrating a scheme to avoid paying union benefits on public projects.

Federal prosecutors say Steven Pagliarini pleaded guilty Thursday to falsification of documents and wire fraud. He is scheduled to be sentenced on April 15.

Authorities say he orchestrated a scheme in which Central Landscaping, of Johnston, avoided paying contractually obligated union benefits for employees of two unions who worked on federally-funded projects. He also provided false information to the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training regarding the employment status of some employees, who were then paid unemployment benefits to which they were not entitled.

The employees worked on federally-funded projects at the Hartford Park Project in Providence and the I-195 Relocation Project.

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