Three Indicted in Fraud Case at UMass Amherst

Defendants accused of taking thousands in illegal kickbacks...

Northampton, MA -  Two men have been indicted in connection with allegedly taking illegal payments from outside contractors for services at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst (UMass), and one man was indicted for allegedly making such payments, Attorney General Maura Healey announced today.

Victor Rodrigues, age 58, of Belchertown, was indicted today by a Hampshire County Grand Jury on Conspiracy to Commit Procurement Fraud (1 count), Procurement Fraud (1 count), and Giving Illegal Gratuities to a State Employee (2 counts). He will be arraigned in Hampshire Superior Court at a later date.

John Strycharz, age 57, formerly of Ludlow, was indicted today by a Hampshire County Grand Jury on Conspiracy to Commit Procurement Fraud (1 count), Procurement Fraud (1 count), Use of Official State Position to Secure Unwarranted Privileges (4 counts), Accepting Illegal Gratuities by a State Employee (2 counts), and Larceny Over $250 (1 count). He will be arraigned in Hampshire Superior Court at a later date.

Michael McGoldrick, age 50, of Leyden, was previously indicted by a Hampshire County Grand Jury on Use of Official State Position to Secure Unwarranted Privileges (1 count) and Accepting Illegal Gratuities by a State Employee (2 counts). He will be arraigned on August 30 in Hampshire Superior Court. 

The AG’s Office alleges that Strycharz, formerly a full-time supervisor at UMass Amherst who oversaw contractors doing asbestos, deleading, mold, PCB and other hazardous materials remediation for UMass, intentionally hid that he had a secret ownership or financial interest in Compass Restoration, a Ludlow-based company owned by Rodrigues. The AG’s Office alleges that from 2008-2015, Strycharz supervised millions of dollars of work awarded by UMass to Compass Restoration without disclosing this connection and personally benefited financially from the relationship. The AG’s office further alleges that Strycharz accepted various undisclosed and illegal gifts from Compass Restoration and Rodrigues, including vacation trips to Mexico, motorboats, and labor at a family property.

The AG’s Office alleges that McGoldrick, who in October 2014 replaced Strycharz in overseeing certain outside contractors, including the asbestos, deleading, mold, and PCB contracts held by Compass Restoration, within months accepted a $3,000 check from Compass Restoration allegedly in support of his son’s auto racing activities. In addition, between 2013 and 2016 McGoldrick, while overseeing work done by Dimauro Carpet & Tile at UMass, accepted ten checks from the East Longmeadow-based company totaling $14,880, in support of his son’s auto racing activities.

These charges are allegations and all defendants are innocent until proven guilty.

The AG’s White Collar and Public Integrity Division investigates and prosecutes serious criminal misconduct involving crimes against public agencies, corrupt public employees and public entities, crimes that have a harmful effect on public confidence in our government and other trusted institutions, and financial crimes.

This matter was handled by Assistant Attorney General Elizabeth Vasiliades, Chief Trial Counsel James O’Brien, Financial Investigator Anthony Taylor, Victim/Witness Advocate Amber Anderson, and members of the Massachusetts State Police assigned to the AG’s Springfield Office. The case was referred to the AG’s Office by UMass, and university officials have fully cooperated with the AG’s investigation into this matter.  


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