This is one of those cases that seems unreal but it’s true. A rags to riches story of a hard-working immigrant who makes $16 million and then gets caught employing illegal aliens at his 6 restaurants. His punishment for breaking the law is a $50,000 fine and 15-months in jail. We feel like his punishment is way too lenient considering the guy only pays $50,000 in fines after making $16,000 off the backs of illegals. Do you agree or think the guy should be given a lenient penalty?
But…why don’t they just deport this guy already?
“Because Jiang lost his citizenship in an unrelated matter, he faces the prospect of facing deportation to his native China.”
WILIAMSPORT — Jing Mei Jiang began working in his native China when he was 15.
Despite being illiterate in English and Chinese, he came to this country nine years ago. He worked as a dishwasher and in construction to earn money to bring his family to the U.S.
From that meager start he became owner or co-owner of six Chinese restaurants in the State College area which, according to U.S. Middle District Judge Matthew W. Brann, in the last six years grossed $16 million.
But this rags-to-riches story does not have a good ending because Jiang, 52, was the acknowledged ringleader of a conspiracy to harbor and employ undocumented immigrants in his restaurants.
He is to report to prison May 16 to begin serving a 15-month sentence followed by two years of supervised release. He also must pay a $50,000 fine in full within six months after he is released from jail.
He could be deported because he lost his U.S. citizenship in an unrelated matter.
When Jiang was sentenced Friday along with three others, Brann said he was unable to reconcile his conduct and the exploitation of undocumented immigrants.
“His hard work was consumed by his greed,” Assistant U.S. Attorney William Behe said. “He was intent on building an empire.”
The restaurants were so profitable he did not need to hire workers without requiring them to show proof of identity, pay them in cash below the minimum wage and not withhold taxes, he said.
The sophistication of the scheme was remarkable given his illiteracy, Behe said.
Jiang’s New York City lawyer Joel S. Cohen disputed Behe’s comments saying professionals suggested the scheme to his client.
It was brought out in previous court proceedings the workers from China, Mexico, Guatemala and Thailand were recruited through an employment agency in New York’s Chinatown.
An accounting firm, also in New York’s Chinatown, prepared false unemployment compensation documents that were wired to state offices in Harrisburg, according to the charges.
Cohen said he did not think the workers were grossly underpaid or mistreated. Had Jiang not provided them work, they would have gone elsewhere and may have been treated worse, he said.
Jiang, who had pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to harbor and transport illegal aliens and wire fraud, apologized to the judge through an interpreter because he does not speak English.
The other seven charged in the scheme, including several of Jiang’s family, pleaded guilty to a harboring charge.
Only he received a jail sentence and it was lighter than the guidelines recommended, reflecting his cooperation.
The other seven received two years’ probation and fines of $500. Forfeiture of assets is included in the sentences of all eight.
Among the other three sentenced Friday was Jiang’s son, Xin Xin Jiang, 28, who told Brann his father made the decisions for the family. Also sentenced were Yan Jin Yang, 30, and Yu Mei Chen, 51.
Previously sentenced were Yong Cheng Chen and his wife, Hua Zhen Dong, and Jian Bin Chen and his wife, Xue Jiang.
Court documents list the restaurants where the illegals were working as China Dragon, Fuji and Jade Garden, 100 Degree Hot Pot, My Thai Restaurant, C&J Human Wok and Penang Inc.
Via: Penn Live
Via: Centre Daily