Here’s the situation in a federal court:
- Some building contractors have hired numerous illegal aliens;
- These contractors have failed to pay something under $3 million in payroll taxes to the federal trust funds;
- These contractors have failed to pay something over $3 million in state-mandated workers’ compensation payments; and
- A middleman, a naturalized citizen, has secured $360,000 for handling the payroll, and thereby facilitating the non-payment of the six million or so.
The questions are: who gets sent to jail, and who owes how much in restitution? All of this is taking place in federal court for the Middle District of Florida; the middleman is Kelbin Tejada, a native of the Dominican Republic and a naturalized citizen.
The answer is that Tejada alone is about to serve 15 months in jail, and has an obligation to pay back the $360,000—and the contractors who are not even named in the indictment, are facing no criminal charges (at least not in this case), and the question of their non-payment of the six million is not even raised. Tejada provided documents to the contractors saying that they had paid workers’ comp, when they had not done so and they must have noticed the three million in savings.
It is like one of those cases of prosecutorial discretion in farm labor matters, where the crew leader with a Hispanic name is hauled into court for cheating the members of his crew, but the farm owner, the Anglo with the mansion on the hill, who benefits from the crew leader’s actions, somehow is not charged with anything.
My sources are a report from Law360 (which raises none of the issues discussed above) and the indictment in the case, which can be seen on the PACER system as 8:33-cr-00147-CEH-SPF. Phone calls to the U.S. Attorney’s office, and to the insurance company were not returned.
It has become common practice, as we all know, for the feds not to try to enforce the law against hiring illegal aliens. But making no effort (at least in this case) to recover the federal taxes and the workers’ compensation fees is a disgrace.