I-Team: Man Scams Unemployed, Owes Victims Thousands

By Kathy Curran, WBZ-TV

BOSTON (CBS) – Brad Hall says the lies began when it was time for his former employer, Paul Darcy Jr., to pay up.

“I can’t tell you how many different lies, there were lies upon lies and lying about the lies,” said Hall.

Darcy is a self-proclaimed entrepreneur behind the internet advertising start-up TheClassifiedBoard.com.

Brad saw Darcy’s job listing for a human resources manager on Craigslist and thought it was a good match.

He signed this contract with a $1,200 week salary and worked for Paul Darcy for one month but was never paid a dime.

The I-Team discovered he wasn’t the only one shortchanged.

We contacted 15 other employees.

Some were out hundreds, others thousands.

And after more digging the I-Team found this wasn’t the first time Paul Darcy’s employees were ripped off.

In 2010 it was a different company, Laborlands.com, but the same deal.

Most of his hires were unemployed but a few say they gave up other job opportunities to work for the man they call “a cheat and evil thief who never paid.”

Complaints have been filed online, with police and the attorney general.

WBZ-TV’s Kathy Curran reports

Attorney General Martha Coakley says her office recovered $4.6 million in restitution for workers like Brad Hall last year.

“We’re talking about non-payment of wages, potential for breach of contract, certainly anyone who has worked wants restitution, wants to be paid. The last thing we need in this economy is people working and not getting paid. State law provides that you are entitled to a day’s pay for a day’s work,” said Coakley.

So who is Paul Darcy?

Well he’s 24 years old. He still lives with mom and dad in their Ashburnham home.

He agreed to sit down with us to try to explain why he never paid his employees.

He says he made a very big mistake.

Darcy said, “I’m sorry and I wish it didn’t have to happen like this. It was a regrettable mistake. They have a reason to be upset but it was absolutely with the best intentions.”

Darcy says he wanted to run a successful business but went about it the wrong way.

He’s a high school grad with no college degree who brags online that he owns his own company.

He’s made some partial payments to a few of his employees but in many cases promises were made and broken.

“Money talks and that’s what it’s going to take. I can apologize all I want but they’re not gonna want to deal with anything I say except money in their hand,” he added.

Brad Hall said he’ll believe it when he sees the money.

“This guy has come up with excuse after excuse after excuse and when you think he runs out with them there are more.”

Paul Darcy Jr. says he’ll pay up whether it takes one year or three but his former employees have heard that before.

They say they’ll believe it when the cash is in hand.

The attorney general has given one employee who filed a complaint in this case what’s called a private right to action, which allows that person to sue for triple damages.

If you’re owed wages from Mr. Darcy, or from any other employee, you can file a complaint with the Attorney General on her website.

  • Karen McManamon

    I”m watching the segment on TV. the title states “praying on the jobless? where is the proofreader? it should be PREYING.

    • Cynic

      You knew what they were reporting, whether it was spelled correctly or not. Come down off that high horse of yours.

    • tsalnew

      Where are the capital letters at the beginning of your sentences? I agree with Cynic.

  • Bill

    You know the footer you ran onscreen with this story said “praying on the jobless” – should be PREYING :)

  • Eric Patrick

    I rarely watch ANY local news since such shows could generally be summed up in a 5 slide power point and consumed in 90 seconds.

    However, your editorial board hit new lows tonight with the broadcast version of this story.

    “Praying on the unemployed” read your banner across the TV.

    Er, don’t you mean “Preying on the homeless”?

    Come on!

    • Eric Patrick

      “Preying on the _unemployed_”; sorry! Guess I need my own editor!

  • Peg

    “Praying”. Don’t use spell check.


    I know there are a lot of unemployed workers praying for a new job,but do you guys actually READ what your write? It should be PREYING on the unemployed! If you’re too busy to proofread your copy, hire me! I have 30 years experience and graduated from Katharine Gibbs!

  • McGee

    “Praying” on the Jobless vs. Preying.? I guess BZ’s editors saw their shadow today. By the way, tell newscasters to stop saying “if you will” whenever they have a gap in their script.

  • Daniella

    Seriously, WBZ? “PRAYING on the Jobless”??? *sigh* Doesn’t anyone pay attention to what they’re doing anymore?

  • Pam Warren

    My son is going through something similar with his employer. He is owed $1200 for free lance layout work that he has done and the company hasn’t paid him and won’t tell him when he’s going to be paid. A friend of his did freelance work for the same company and three months later he still hasn’t been paid. I think it’s outrageous that my son’s company isn’t paying its workers for work that they’ve done, when they are billing some other company for that work. I guess my son will have to get a lawyer and contact the attorney general.

  • Dan

    But you deleted 8 comments about the spelling in your report. Make it right and keep this posting. This reporting is deplorable!

  • larry

    Way to delete all the comments pertaining to the inability to spell. Mabye your i-team or the crew at wbz should find a story that is usefull. How about hmmm the ongoing drug problem in mass or many other issues of corruption that are on a large scale Must be running out of stories to have to post about a small town guy who failed at starting a business and owes a couple people money

    • Julia Mahoney

      Hey I am one of the people that he owes money too. He almost cost my family everything because he hired my father and I and we are even lower than broke. I am glad things like this are getting attention because I am sick and tired of being told that I am poor because I do not try to work and earn money. When and if it happens to you, you will think it is important especially when the money you are owed would keep you in an apartment!

      • Dan

        You were employed for less then 1 month, maybe it’s time you get another job if you want to get out of poverty, even paying back the wages you are owed for 3-4 weeks won’t bring you out of poverty. Keep in mind you didn’t pay him 1,200 a week, he was supposed to pay you. He went out of business clearly and said he was going to pay. Get a job and stop complaining!

      • Julia Mahoney

        @ ‘Dan’ you know an awful lot about my work history with him without me mentioning details. I am assuming if he was willing to admit on camera that he is sorry then he did something wrong as should you.

      • Dan

        @Julia, are you slow? They said in the report how much people were supposed to be getting paid, And yes not paying is wrong but he doesn’t deserve the electric chair like you want him to get. As states this also happened forever ago, move on and get a job, money is always replaceable!

  • Laura

    seriously folks – it’s “preying” not “praying” on these unfortunate people – edit much?

  • Liz

    This happened to me. I am owed over $13,000 for work i did for a legitimate company that contracted my work under a spinoff that they use as an excuse for “not having the money” to pay me, while the real employees are paid by the parent company. I wonder if the AG can help me recover this.

    • Jean

      You should contact them and see if they can. Good luck.

  • alan

    I guess the I team should have been praying that there were no commentators ready to prey on any mistakes they made. Are you sure you are paying the caption editors enough?

  • Pat

    They recovered 4.6 million the past year… So this happens all the time with companies going out of business and not being able to pay their people. Why is this guy news and everyone else not? Why on the Attorney Generals website are there far more severe cases not being broadcasted? Sincerely ridiculous

  • Johnny H.

    They say there are 15 employees yet interviewed 1 person? Where are the contracts? Where is the proof? Come on I-Team, you can do so much better then this

    • KSL, LLC.

      Evidently, you did not pay attention to the segment. One copy of a contract pertaining to the victim in the story was shown. They interviewed others victims and the A.G. They can’t show everything in a small segment. That is what judicial process is for. And you had better believe that there is more than enough evidence to satisfy the burden of proof required. Mr. Darcy is lucky that the Feds have not stepped into this fray…yet.

      • Johnny H.

        Clearly you are involved in this case. This is a matter of unpaid wages, the feds have better things to worry about then that. And perhaps you didn’t pay attention to the segment when it said only 1 PERSON has been granted the right to sue for triple damages! And Did any of these people sue him civilly?

      • KSL, LLC.

        Johnny, I’m not involved as a party to this case. I’ve had experience with this type of issue before. The Feds actually are far more aggressive than the state level on the pursuit of wage and labor issues. A few years ago I advised someone dealing with a similar issue to change tactics. He was making no progress whatsoever with Massachusetts legal channels. When he opened up his claim with the Feds, the case was resolved in a very short time. Employers know better than to mess around. It opens them up to way more troubles.

        As to The Private Right to Action (Ability to sue for treble damages) it is only offered when there is an abundance of proof to support and substantiate a petitioners claims to the courts for relief and redress. Basically, it’s the state saying to this claimant ‘Go ahead. Your claim has weight behind it. Go and unleash the hounds’ on him.’

        Also, keep in mind that this is JUST one claim that was granted the right for special right to action. It is a relatively new case, and there is a very high likelihood there will be other similar actions granted. In any case, my sympathies go towards the victims of this malfeasant jerk. He deserves everything that he gets, and then some.

      • Johnny H.

        @KSL, I agree with some of what your saying, however this is not new, it is from 2010! Also the story stated he did actually pay some people and he came on camera to say he wanted to make it right. I could only assume he and everyone he owes money to just wants to get paid and move on with life. At least he was honest about it, seems like a step in the right direction in my opinion anyway

      • miley

        To Johnny I know about this case before it even made the news. A close friend’s husband got ripped off by this guy. Don’t let him fool you into thinking that he just failed at starting a business. This guy was running a scam it had nothing to do with creating a legitimate business. The person I know lives in the next town over from Ashburnham and went to the local police and they told him that they have known about this guy for a long time but there was nothing that they could do. they were even surprised because this guy doesn’t usually find people that close, he usually went after people who lived farther away and would be less likely to do anything. Yes some people did get paid because some of his victims actually lived close enough to track him down. His whole scam is tricking you into doing work for month and then not paying and then when those people quit he just finds new ones so think about how many victims there are if he gets new people every month and its been going on since before 2010!

      • Miley

        Johnny the only reason he made payments was because he made the mistake of running this scam on people who lived near by and could actually find him. “made payments” is only maybe a hundred dollars because these people were going to beat him up. Trust me I know because I personally know one of the victims. Listen this is how this scam worked I’ll explain it very simply for you johnny. He starts a company, in this case online, darcy is paid for advertisements on the so called websites and all the companies these “workers” get to advertise with them. Then he keeps the money for himself and doesnt pay the workers. When enough people catch on or people stop advertising he creates a new website, did you notice how it listed at least two in the article. And every month or whenever people quit he just finds new people to scam and get to do the work for him. I agree with you that after not getting paid they should stop working, I even told my friend that he was an idiot for continuing to work after two weeks for not getting paid. But that’s how it works make a website, get others to get advertising then not pay them and keep the money for yourself. Do you really think some loser with no college degree living with his parents in a secluded town( I actually grew up in Ashburnham, no lie) is going to be running an internet business. Like I said some people he actually scam lived in neighboring towns that’s who did get paid a little bit just to keep his but from getting beat to a pulp. The local cops new about him and couldn’t do anything about it, there are definitely going to be people from out of state that will be joining the lawsuit against this guy if they see this article.

    • Johnny H.

      @ Miley, Yes it was stated he attempted this more then once. However, if he wasn’t making sales or trying to run a business then tell me the point of hiring employees and not paying them? Why would he keep hiring random people just to not pay them, makes no sense? And the guy they interviewed was local also, so the theory that he only paid local people doesn’t make much sense either since some were paid and others were not.

      Secondly the report said since 2010,not before. But here is my main question. If you are not paid in the first week or 2, WHY WHY WHY would anyone continue to work???

      • Johnny H.

        Also it is pretty much a common sense point of view that this wasn’t a scam. He wouldn’t have paid a single person, just took off with whatever he made, if any. The fact that he actually did make payments to people should show that.

      • miley

        He did all the hiring online he posted the “jobs” on craigslist and rarely met in person with the people he hired, which should have been a clue to the people but hey people are desperate when looking for work now a days. Just trust me this guy is just some punk who is trying to make a buck off everyone else by not doing a thing and letting everyone else do the work. Just look at his smug smirk in the picture, and like I said above would you really believe that some 24 yr old kid living in his parents basement in a small hick town with no college degree is going to be running a successful internet business because if you do johnny I would be surprised that you didn’t fall victim to this kid as well. I’m just saying that you seem to be giving this kid the benefit of the doubt when he really doesn’t deserve it. I say that honestly with everything I believe

    • Johnny H.

      Miley, I’m certainly not giving him the benefit of the doubt, and he should undoubtedly pay the money he even admits to owing, I just don’t believe he set out to screw random people out of money, it just doesn’t add up. And your opinion is fine, but you know people you were affected so your going to see it there way no matter what. “Beating him up” is an idiot move, the people you know would get arrested and others who would have been paid never will after that, that would only hurt the people who are owed.

      I think part of it is they did a terrible job with the story, they didn’t even mention that he took any money, or talked with anyone who was a customer, or even gave a total of anyone involved in the whole thing! And I have to disagree with you about his age and location, that 100% doesn’t matter, he should however learn how to run a business correctly, I will give you that though. I am done with this feed though, I said my 2 cents and I hope the people you know and everyone else owed gets their money and everyone can just move on :)

  • jean

    He is a grown man defrauding and preying on individuals who are desperate for work. It is absolutely shameful and criminal. The fact that he still lives with his parents speaks volumes about his coddling. The apple probably doesn’t fall from this tree.

    • Thomas

      @Jean, his living situation should have no impact if he can run a business or not. It is pretty clear it was not on purpose, to me at least.

  • KSL, LLC.

    This guy is just another criminal operating under the guise of an ‘unfortunate business owner’ His mea culpa was shallow and disingenuous to say the least. He drew up many legally binding bilateral contracts with scope of duties and payments provided for said duties. Add to this fact, he signed them as did his victims. Adding insult to injury, he profited as a result of his contracted victim’s work. He shows a clear wanton predisposition towards this type of fraudulent behavior.
    If any other victims wanted to amplify Mr. Darcy’s troubles, they can skip the state level and bring their case to the Federal Government. I’m quite sure IRS, FTC, FBI, and any other instruments of the Federal Government would be quite interested in ‘speaking at great length’ about his activities.

    • Johnny H.

      Profiting would mean he collected more money then he owes, I highly doubt this is the case. Notice they didn’t speak with or mention a single person who purchased his product? Hmmm I wonder why???

      • KSL, LLC.

        Profiting does not have to mean that he actually made profit. It can also mean any consideration or ill gotten gains in conjunction with criminal or fraudulent activities.

        Secondly, the I team is not going to speak with or pursue the identities of end users of Mr. Darcy’s products. The focus is solely on his alleged repeat pattern of defrauding his past employees out of monies owed them for services rendered. If and when this case does go to a criminal trial, then any customers and or clients will be revealed after analysis from forensic accountants or investigators.

      • Julia Mahoney

        several people purchased his product, he defrauded ‘clients’ of hundreds of dollars by cashing checks for ad space on his website that he had no intention to maintain.

  • spell_checker

    Who gives a rats behind if they used PRAYING, rather than PREYING. You all knew what they were saying. Get a life people.

    • Daniella

      Kind of an odd statement from someone named “spell checker.”

  • Fred W.

    No but the spelling does matter. If they can’t even spell right what else are they not getting right?!

    • web

      I agree..people who post make errors, but we are not ‘the news’, we are individuals leaving comments. News stations in the business should get it right.

  • KSL, LLC.

    After reading these comments, I can’t help but feel that we have only seen the tip of the iceberg with Mr. Darcy’s business practices. If he has two plus years of this pattern behind him, there will be many more victims coming forth after this story aired. The Statue of Limitations may have run out for a few victims.

    However his troubles may be even greater if he used out of state labor, and solicited clients in this same way. This is wire fraud. There are big penalties for this specific variety of crime. His parents house can be sized as evidence. They can be implicated in this mess as well. Just sit back and relax, the wheels of justice are in motion. They may be slow…but they grind oh so exceedingly fine.

    • Kate K.

      After reading your comment, we realize you are part of this situation. Maybe you should contact the people who matter like Mr.Darcy and see if he will actually pay you instead of sitting on here pretending he is Bernie Madoff.

      My guess, and it’s only a guess is that he didn’t have many customers. As someone stated earlier I think if and when he pays this all goes away, time will tell.

      • Don

        Have to agree, as long as he is willing to pay it back nothing more needs to happen. This nonsense about taking peoples houses are insane, get real

  • Pam

    My son’s employer, a certain publishing company in Sudbury MA, still hasn’t paid him for his freelance work and they went on craigslist and advertised for more people. This is not a case of someone legitimately going out of business, but it’s a scam to get work out of people and then not pay them for it. I have no idea why this guy thinks he can get away with this. He’s not going to, if I have anything to do with it.

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