The owners and managers of a construction framing company in Spring Hill, Kan., were indicted in federal court Monday and charged with a wide variety of criminal violations related to hiring and harboring illegal aliens for the company.
These indictments resulted from an investigation led by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), in conjunction with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Clay County, Mo., Sheriff’s Office (CCSO), and the Johnson County, Kan., Sheriff’s Office (JCSO).
The indictment alleges that the company knowingly employed illegal aliens to obtain commercial advantage and private financial gain. The company issued checks to illegal alien crew leaders, who in turn cashed those checks and paid their illegal alien crew-members in cash.
“The indictment alleges the defendants devised a scheme to lower their operating costs and boost their profits by employing undocumented workers,” said U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom. “The company did not pay for Social Security, workers compensation or unemployment insurance benefits for those employees.”
The investigation began in March 2012 when criminal investigators with both HSI and CCSO received information the owners employed illegal alien workers. At the beginning of the investigation in March 2012 the company employed between 25 and 30 crews consisting of five or six workers per crew.
Upon conviction, the aforementioned alleged crimes carry the following penalties:
- Conspiracy to harbor illegal aliens: A maximum penalty of five years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000.
- Harboring illegal aliens: A maximum penalty of five years and a fine up to $250,000 on each count.
- Conspiracy to commit money laundering: A maximum penalty of 20 years and a fine up to $250,000.