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  1. #1
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Restaurant owner sentenced for harboring illegal aliens

    I.C.E. News Release

    October 28, 2010
    Baltimore, MD

    Owner of Timbuktu and By The Docks restaurants sentenced to prison for harboring illegal aliens

    Forfeited nearly $750,000 of illegal gains

    BALTIMORE - George Anagnostou, 41, of Kingsville, Md., was sentenced today to four months in prison and four months home detention with electronic monitoring, followed by two years of supervised release, for harboring for private financial gain and commercial advantage at least 24 unauthorized alien employees of Timbuktu and By the Docks restaurants. Anagnostou also forfeited a 2009 Harley Davidson, $378,386.21 from five bank accounts; $99,890 seized from the restaurants and Anagnostou's home on March 11, 2010; and at today's sentencing paid an additional $256,696.67, also believed to be proceeds of the crime. The investigation was led by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI)

    According to his plea agreement, Anagnostou has been the primary owner of Timbutku Restaurant located at 1726 Dorsey Road in Hanover, Md. since March 4, 2000. Since at least 2005, Anagnostou has also been a co-owner of By the Docks Restaurant located at 3321 Eastern Boulevard in Middle River, Md.

    In 1999, 10 illegal workers were arrested during a search at Timbuktu. On April 4, 2000, an order was issued requiring Timbuktu to pay a fine and to stop employing and harboring illegal aliens. Anagnostou was aware of the immigration enforcement action, as well as the fact that Timbuktu employees were arrested and ordered deported. Several of these individuals continued to work for Timbuktu after Anagnostou took over the restaurant.

    Since 2000 and 2005, respectively, Anagnostou has been responsible for the hiring of employees at both Timbuktu and By the Docks. Anagnostou instructed his administrative employees and management to accept two forms of identification from applicants for employment, to make copies of the identification documents, and to keep the copies of the identification documents in the applicant's personnel file. No further steps were taken to verify the authority of the applicant to be in or to work in the United States, nor were the legally required Employment Eligibility Verification forms (I-9s) filed, which direct the employer to attest that the employer has reviewed the permissible identification documents and that they appear to be genuine. When informed that many of the applicants for the busboy and kitchen positions at both Timbuktu and By the Docks were presenting obviously fake or fraudulent identification documentation, Anagnostou instructed his employees to stop asking questions and to continue to make copies of the fraudulent documentation for the personnel files.

    During this same time period, Timbutku received notice from the Social Security Administration that a number of the restaurant's employees were using Social Security numbers that did not match the names assigned those numbers in the records of the Social Security Administration. Anagnostou made no effort to verify the Social Security numbers provided by his employees. All of the employees with mismatched Social Security numbers continued to be employed by Timbuktu.

    Anagnostou admitted that over the last five years he harbored at least 24 illegal alien employees from Timbuktu and By the Docks for financial gain and commercial advantage. Anagnostou gained the benefit of their labor, which facilitated the operation of his restaurants. He was able to guarantee their continuing labor by providing housing in residences close to the restaurants. An unlawful alien employee was also living upstairs at the By the Docks Restaurant. With the exception of those living at 1730 Dorsey Road, Anagnostou deducted rental payments from the overtime owed to the illegal alien employees, many of who regularly worked up to 80 hours a week and were routinely paid in cash to avoid their tax liability. Anagnostou did not claim the rental income on his tax returns, nor did he withhold FICA taxes from these overtime payments, as he was legally required to do.

    On the morning of March 11, 2010, ICE HSI special agents executed several search warrants in connection with this investigation, during which time 29 unauthorized aliens were arrested at Timbuktu, By the Docs and residences close to the restaurants.

    U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is the largest investigative arm of the Department of Homeland Security.

    ICE is a 21st century law enforcement agency with broad responsibilities for a number of key homeland security priorities. For more information, visit www.ICE.gov. To report suspicious activity, call 1-866-347-2423.

    U.S. Dept of Homeland Security

    http://www.ice.gov/news/releases/1010/1 ... timore.htm
    NO AMNESTY

    Don't reward the criminal actions of millions of illegal aliens by giving them citizenship.


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  2. #2
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    Jail for Timbuktu owner
    'It should be a deterrent for people who are inclined to hire illegal immigrants'
    By ALLISON BOURG, Staff Writer
    Published 10/30/10

    The owner of a Hanover restaurant raided by federal immigration officials in March will serve four months in prison for harboring and employing at least two dozen undocumented workers.

    George Anagnostou, 41, of Kingsville also was sentenced Thursday to four months of home detention with electronic monitoring, followed by two years of supervised release, officials with the U.S. Attorney's Office in Baltimore said.

    Rod J. Rosenstein, U.S. Attorney for Maryland, said the case is significant because few cases of this nature are prosecuted.

    "Even though he got only four months in jail, it should be a deterrent for people who are inclined to hire illegal immigrants," he said.

    U.S. District Judge William M. Nickerson also ordered Anagnostou, owner of Timbuktu restaurant in Hanover and By The Docks restaurant in Middle River, to forfeit a 2009 Harley Davidson, $378,386.21 from five bank accounts and $99,890 seized from the restaurants and Anagnostou's home last spring.

    Anagnostou also paid an additional $256,696.67 believed to be proceeds of the crime. He pleaded guilty in June.

    The U.S. Attorney's Office filed a civil complaint against the business owner in March, which accused him of operating a money-laundering scheme to hide the fact that he employed undocumented workers.

    Anagnostou and his wife provided housing for about two dozen illegal workers in four different houses, officers with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said, and deducted rent from their pay. The workers were paid in cash to avoid tax liabilities.

    Federal agents said when the complaint was filed that they suspected that undocumented workers made up at least 30 percent of the workforce at Timbuktu and By The Docks.

    Anagnostou declined comment. His lawyer, David B. Irwin of Towson, said he was happy Anagnostou didn't get a harsher sentence. He also has a few months before he has to report to jail, so he can get his businesses in order and keep both restaurants open, Irwin said.

    "The judge wanted to send a message that he was serious about immigration enforcement," Irwin said. "A lot of businesses do this, but George was caught and the judge wanted to make an example out of him."

    Business owners who hire undocumented workers have an economic advantage over those who don't, because their operating costs are much lower, Rosenstein said.

    "The impact is very significant," Rosenstein said.

    Timbuktu has a history of hiring illegal workers that dates back more than a decade.

    In 1999, before Anagnostou owned the restaurant, 10 illegal workers were arrested during a search at Timbuktu. The following spring, the owners of Timbuktu were ordered to pay a fine and to stop employing and harboring undocumented workers.

    But officials with the U.S. Attorney's Office said some of these employees continued to work for Timbuktu after Anagnostou took over the restaurant.

    Federal agents said Anagnostou instructed management to accept two forms of identification from job applicants, to make copies of the documents, and to keep them in the applicants' personnel files. But he didn't try to verify whether they were in the country legally, they said.

    Timbuktu also received notice from the Social Security Administration that a number of its employees were using fraudulent Social Security numbers. Anagnostou continued to employ all the workers with mismatched Social Security numbers and made no effort to verify them, federal agents said.

    County Executive John R. Leopold applauded the sentence yesterday. In 2007, he signed an executive order banning businesses that hire undocumented workers from doing business with the county.

    "Cracking down on illegal immigration has been a priority of this administration, and I am pleased that the court has rightly imposed jail time on an employer who hired and harbored illegal immigrants," Leopold said in a statement. "The sentence sends a clear message that we will not tolerate businesses breaking the law at the expense of businesses who play by the rules."

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