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Archive for Friday, August 11, 2006

Wichita firm faces charges for hiring illegal immigrants

Indictment says company helped buy false ID documents

August 11, 2006

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— 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. Atty. 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."

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.

xU.S. Atty. Eric Melgren speaks at a news conference about grand jury indictments of Bob Eisel Powder Coatings and some of its employees. The owner and two employees of the Wichita company were charged Thursday in a 28-count indictment of knowingly hiring illegal immigrants and helping them obtain false identification documents. Kelly Bloyer of the Social Security Administration is at right.

xU.S. Atty. Eric Melgren speaks at a news conference about grand jury indictments of Bob Eisel Powder Coatings and some of its employees. The owner and two employees of the Wichita company were charged Thursday in a 28-count indictment of knowingly hiring illegal immigrants and helping them obtain false identification documents. Kelly Bloyer of the Social Security Administration is at right.

"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, 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.

Comments

ASBESTOS 7 years, 8 months ago

You can report them:

Report Suspicious Activity: 1-866-DHS-2-ICE 1-866-347-2423

http://www.ice.gov/

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Christine Pennewell Davis 7 years, 8 months ago

this should read "opps my bad" you know I do not think anything will come of this just a smack on the hand pay fines and a few months from now it will be same ole thing.

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offtotheright 7 years, 8 months ago

This is just a very small start.

I could name a dozen companies in our great Lawrence that should be investigated!

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Agnostick 7 years, 8 months ago

When a business owner such as this is blatantly flouting our immigration laws, there is only one real punishment that fits the bill:

All assets--monetary, inventory, equipment, buildings, all of it--of the business should be seized by the federal government, and then auctioned off to the highest law-abiding bidder. Proceeds from the sale of the business are to be pumped back into border enforcement.

After serving an appropriate jail sentence, the original owner should be placed on a nationwide "blacklist," which prevents them from ever owning their own business, ever again. Let 'em work for somebody who knows how to follow the rules.

Agnostick agnostick@excite.com

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ASBESTOS 7 years, 8 months ago

Ibet if the State KDHE ran all the SSN's of the asbestos removers that are certified by the state, I bet they would find that 75% are falsified.

That is not mowing your lawn type of work, that is removing a known proven cancer initiator from public buildings. And illegal workers are doing it...most likely illegally. IE, if they did not follow the employment laws, why would you think they would follow the environmental laws?

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