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  1. #1
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Aug 2008
    PARADISE (San Diego)

    Undocumented scheme manager pleads guilty to 50 counts

    Undocumented scheme manager pleads guilty to 50 counts

    Paul Brinkmann Contact Reporter Orlando Sentinel

    Woman who processed over $17.4 million of fraudulent payroll since 2013 through her company pleads guilty.

    A Central Florida woman is facing a maximum prison sentence up to 980 years after pleading guilty Thursday to 49 counts of helping contractors avoid payroll tax by hiring undocumented workers. She also pleaded to one count of illegal money transmissions.

    Orquidea Quezada, 48, pleaded to running a payroll service in Winter Park where she hired undocumented immigrants and coordinated their employment for cash under the table.

    She worked under the name Orquicely Construction, which performed work for dozens of local builders.

    Quezada processed over $17.4 million of fraudulent payroll since 2013 through her company Orquicely Construction LLC, according to the indictment that was filed in March.

    Quezada didn't sign a plea agreement, which happens regularly in connection with federal guilty pleas. That could be an indicator that she intends to appeal whatever sentence is handed down, according to Orlando defense attorney Jonathan Rose, a former prosecutor.

    It's also unlikely she will be sentenced to hundreds of years in prison, Rose said.

    "The number of charges you plead guilty to isn't necessarily indicative of the amount of damages or losses you caused," said Jonathan Rose, a former prosecutor who is now a defense attorney. "I frequently advise my clients to not have a plea agreement, unless there something in it that will really benefit them. My opinion is there's probably a considerable of evidence that she is guilty."

    The feds listed 49 total contractors who received allegedly fraudulent email communication from Orquicely, 28 of whom are located in Central Florida. But the charges didn't identify which contractors actually used the illegal services.

    The scheme allowed contractors "to avoid these taxes and workers' compensation taxes, and to conceal their employment of undocumented aliens that were working illegally in the United States," the charges said.

    Quezada kept a five percent fee, amounting to $870,000.

    Several contractors listed within the indictment told the Sentinel previously they never heard of Orquicely and didn't do business with it. Others said they recognized the name but didn't know of any illegal activity.

    Quezada allegedly obtained workers' compensation insurance policies to cover two to seven employees of Orquicely Construction, but allowed other contractors to basically use her policy to cover hundreds of employees. The feds allege that neither Orquicely Construction nor the contractors deducted state or federal taxes, such as for Medicare and Social Security, from the workers' pay.

    The arrest was made by special agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and taskforce officers from Seminole and Orange Counties.


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  2. #2
    Senior Member Captainron's Avatar
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    May 2007
    Wow!! Now if ICE would go after the landscape contractors, too. There is a local chain which must employ scores of them. And the owners are accruing a lot of real estate investment with the facilities they own, with RE prices soaring, too.

    What conservatives need are good lawyers. If you haven't hired any illegal aliens and you are connected with the industry why should you lose when these other folks are gaining---on a huge scale, too?
    "Men of low degree are vanity, Men of high degree are a lie. " David
    Join our efforts to Secure America's Borders and End Illegal Immigration by Joining ALIPAC's E-Mail Alerts network (CLICK HERE)

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