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Subcontractor under investigation ran several companies

Carpenters working at SouthField in Weymouth allege that James McCarthy failed to pay them as promised.

Jonathan Wiggs/Globe Staff/File 2009

Carpenters working at SouthField in Weymouth allege that James McCarthy failed to pay them as promised.

A subcontractor who is being investigated for allegedly failing to pay workers on the new SouthField development in Weymouth has done business under at least a dozen different company names in Lynnfield and New Hampshire, according to police.

The use of multiple business names is the latest revelation in the ongoing investigation of 52-year-old James F. McCarthy, who once ran his business in Groveland and has been named in several complaints to police in that town.

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The Groveland Police Department is working with the Essex district attorney’s office and State Police to investigate the allegations that McCarthy failed to pay workers, allegations that span several jurisdictions. Charges are expected to be filed in Haverhill District Court within the next couple of weeks, police said.

McCarthy could not be reached for comment to explain why he had so many company names.

When he was reached by cellphone last week regarding the pay complaints, McCarthy repeatedly said he intends to pay his workers and that his company is owed money on several jobs. “Everybody will be paid once we’re paid,” he said.

Carpenters working at SouthField, a development at the former South Weymouth Naval Air Station, recently brought forth allegations that McCarthy failed to pay them as promised and gave them checks that bounced. Authorities are looking into the allegations.

Meanwhile, police in Groveland, a small town 31 miles north of Boston, have been investigating McCarthy since October 2012, when they received complaints from property owners and building supply companies about a subcontractor’s practices. The victims told police that the subcontractor had written bad checks and did not deliver materials. After following up on those complaints, Deputy Chief Jeffrey T. Gillen said the case “continued to grow and grow as we found more victims.”

The probe by authorities has also revealed that a number of corporations have been formed under McCarthy’s name in recent years. Some of the earliest ones — Hidden Valley Equipment Inc., M.P.S. Inc., and Millennium Modular Inc. — were based in Lynnfield.

According to records from the Massachusetts secretary of state, Hidden Valley Equipment Inc. was formed in 1990 and was also known as Portable Structures Inc. and McCarthy’s Portable Structures. In March 2007, McCarthy, who served as its president, filed paperwork to voluntarily dissolve the corporation.

McCarthy formed M.P.S. Inc. in 1997 and Millennium Modular Inc. in 1999. Both were involuntarily dissolved by the state in May 2007.

Many of McCarthy’s businesses have been based out of New Hampshire: Laconia K 4 U Trucking Inc., TTM Modular Inc., THM Construction Inc., KJT LLC, McCarthy James Group Inc., and Bay State Trailers, Inc. were located in Laconia; McCarthy Trailer Transporting LLC in Pelham; and most recently, MGM Framing of Manchester.

Seven of McCarthy’s corporations were created between 2003 and 2006, according to the New Hampshire secretary of state’s office. Five have since been dissolved by the state for failure to file reports or pay fees or meet other requirements. Two are listed as inactive, and one — MGM Framing — is not listed in their database.

McCarthy is also connected to another New Hampshire firm, MMM Phoenix Enterprises LLC. According to the New Hampshire secretary of state’s database, this limited liability corporation was created in October 2012 and is currently in good standing. It has an office in Manchester, N.H., and a Post Office box in Groveland.

McCarthy has come under scrutiny before by state authorities for operating without workers’ compensation insurance.

According to the Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents, in March 2003, while McCarthy was doing business as M.P.S. Inc. and the McCarthy Group Inc., one of his workers was hurt on the job. Because McCarthy failed to provide workers compensation insurance coverage, the Workers Compensation Trust Fund paid out $15,000 to the injured employee, and then filed a lawsuit against both McCarthy and his company to recover the money. In September 2003, the state issued a “stop work order” to McCarthy because his company was uninsured.

In May 2013, the Workers Compensation Trust Fund received a judgment of $18,292.91 against McCarthy, according to Lauren Jones, a spokeswoman from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development.

Emily Sweeney can be reached at esweeney@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @emilysweeney.
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