Three men indicted on charges in connection with fraud at UMass Amherst

Crime

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Two men accused of receiving illegal payments from outside contractors for services at UMass Amherst were indicted, the state’s attorney general announced Wednesday. 

According to AG Maura Healey’s Office, the man who allegedly made the payments was also indicted.  

A Hampshire County grand jury indicted 58-year-old Victor Rodriguez of Belchertown on one count of conspiracy to commit procurement fraud, one count of procurement fraud and two counts of giving illegal gratuities to a state employee.  

The jury also indicted 57-year-old John Strycharz, formerly of Ludlow, on one count of conspiracy to commit procurement fraud, one count of procurement fraud, four counts of use of official state position to secure unwarranted privileges, two counts of accepting illegal gratuities by a state employee and one count of larceny over $250. 

Both Rodriguez and Strycharz will be arraigned in Hampshire Superior Court at a later date. 

Fifty-year-old Michael McGoldrick of Leyden was previously indicted on charges including one count of use of official state position to secure unwarranted privileges and two counts of accepting illegal gratuities by a state employee. His arraignment has been scheduled for August 30 in Hampshire Superior Court. 

The AG’s Office alleges that Strycharz, a former full-time supervisor at UMass in charge of contractors doing asbestos, molding, PCB and other hazardous materials for the university, intentionally hid that he owned or had financial interest in Compass Restoration, a company owned by Rodriguez in Ludlow. 

From 2008-2015, Strycharz allegedly supervised millions of dollars of work awarded to UMass to Compass Restoration without disclosing his connection to the business. The AG’s Office said Strycharz benefited financially from it and accepted illegal gifts including vacation trips to Mexico. 

In October 2014, McGoldrick replaced Strycharz in overseeing outside contractors and within months, he allegedly accepted a $3,000 check from Compass Restoration in support of his son’s auto racing activities. He is also accused of accepting ten checks totaling over $14,000 from the East-Longmeadow-based company Dimauro Carpet & Tile while overseeing their work at UMass between 2013 and 2016.         

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. 

Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office 

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