The CEO, treasurer, and financial controller of a US construction company owned by a Kerry family have been arrested and charged with fraud in New York.
Navillus Contracting is one of New York's biggest construction companies and was founded more than 30 years ago by Donal, Leonard and Kevin O'Sullivan from Ballinskelligs.
Donal O'Sullivan CEO of Navillus Contracting, his sister Helen O'Sullivan who is treasurer, and the company's financial comptroller Padraig Naughton were charged with wire fraud, mail fraud, embezzlement from employee benefit funds, submission of false remittance reports to union benefit funds and conspiracy to commit those crimes.
The defendants were arraigned yesterday before United States magistrate Judge Robert M. Levy. Donal O'Sullivan was released on a $500,000 bond; Helen O'Sullivan and Padraig Naughton were each released on $250,000 bonds.
In a statement, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York outlined the allegation that the three executives were the architects of a payroll scheme designed to evade contributions to union benefits funds that their workers depend upon.
Two years ago, Navillus received approval to exit bankruptcy following the payment of a $22.3million euro settlement after a court held it had avoided paying union wages and benefit payments.
In a brief statement to the media ahead of a more detailed response from the company attorney Sean
O'Shea, who is representing Donal O'Sullivan, called the indictment a civil case dressed up in other garb.
He said the allegations were false, and he expects full vindication at a jury trial.