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  1. #1
    Senior Member Skippy's Avatar
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    Jul 2006

    Indictment charges Wichita firm with hiring illegal immigran ... 244127.htm

    Indictment charges Wichita firm with hiring illegal immigrants
    Associated Press - 08/10/06

    WICHITA, Kan. - A Wichita manufacturing company, its owner and two top managers were charged Thursday with knowingly hiring illegal immigrants and helping them obtain fraudulent documents, authorities said.

    A 28-count indictment filed in federal court in Wichita names Bob Eisel Powder Coatings and its owner and president, Bob Eisel. Also named in the indictment were general manager Kenrick "Butch" Steinert and foreman Troy Hook.

    None of the named employees returned phone messages left by The Associated Press at the company's Wichita offices. No arrests have been made in the case.

    The indictment includes eight counts of making false statements to the U.S. government, eight counts of misusing Social Security numbers, eight counts of receiving false documents as evidence of stay or employment, three counts of aggravated identity theft and one count of harboring illegal aliens.

    "This indictment sends a clear message to American employers that American businesses have a responsibility to obey our immigration laws," U.S. Attorney Eric Melgren said at a news conference. "Businesses that knowingly employ illegal workers are undermining our laws, they are violating our public trust and they are contributing to the problem of illegal aliens in this country. U.S. law enforcement is not going to simply look the other way as businesses engage in this conduct."

    The indictment charges that since 1997, the company routinely employed undocumented immigrants, mostly from Mexico, while knowing or suspecting that the documents they provided were false.

    "The company as charged in the indictment was much more than a passive victim of document fraud," Melgren said. "The indictment charges that the company assisted in the purchase of dozens of false identification documents. The company even paid for counterfeit Social Security cards and counterfeit resident alien cards for its workers."

    One employee is alleged to have used money from the office safe for each employee that needed new false identification documents, which he initially purchased in the Wichita area until he found a better, cheaper source in Dallas.

    When the company began receiving periodic letters in 2002 from the Social Security Administration notifying it that several of its employees were working under suspicious Social Security numbers, the company told employees they would have to obtain different numbers to continue working, according to the indictment.

    The company would then "rehire" the same worker using the new identification, while allowing the worker to retain any benefits such as vacation or sick leave tied to length of service, the indictment charges. Many of the same employees worked under as many as five or six separate false identities over a period of years, Melgren said.

    Authorities declined to speculate on how many illegal immigrants may have worked at the firm over the years. The indictment specifically lists eight named illegal immigrants tied to the charges against the managers, but it also alleges the company assisted in the purchase of dozens of sets of false identification documents.

    Three of the company's former workers were convicted earlier this year on immigration charges, according to the U.S. attorney's office.

    Victor Montemayor, resident agent for Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Wichita, said the indictments are a prime example of how ICE is taking an increasingly tough stance against corporate violators.

    "Bringing criminal charges against those people as employers and targeting their ill-gotten gains are tactics we are adopting nationwide," Montemayor said. "This is a wholesale departure from the past system of sanctioning corporate violators with minor fines that were often negotiated to even smaller amounts. ICE has found criminal sanctions to be a far greater deterrent to illegal employment schemes than administrative fines."

    In 1999, 24 employers were charged for immigration violations, compared to a record 445 this fiscal year, he said.

  2. #2
    Senior Member jp_48504's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    n 1999, 24 employers were charged for immigration violations, compared to a record 445 this fiscal year, he said.
    Really, how come we havenít heard much about it? And what were the fines they received for this criminal activity?
    I stay current on Americans for Legal Immigration PAC's fight to Secure Our Border and Send Illegals Home via E-mail Alerts (CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP)

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