Grocer Caught Helping Construction Company Hide Employment of Illegal Workers

A grocery store owner in Florida will now face prison time for his involvement in a construction company’s scheme to hide their hiring of illegal aliens by paying them in cash. 

ConstructionCitizen.com highlighted this news story about the sentencing of Andrew D. Lemine of Paisley, FL, who cashed the checks of John Trubenbach Construction for 5 years, knowing that the construction company was using the cash for their payroll of undocumented workers.

A release from the Department of Justice states:

According to court documents, between January 1, 2004 and December 31, 2008, Lemine cashed at Sorrento Grocery approximately $4,065,896.00 in checks from a local construction company in return for a fee of between 1% and 1.5% of the checks’ face value.

The fact that Lemine was not hiring the illegals himself did not stop him from being convicted of “operating an unlicensed money-transmitting business” and being sentenced to two years in federal prison. The money he gained from his check-cashing fees was confiscated by the court as part of his sentencing.

States such as Illinois have recently made changes to employee lawsincluding stronger prosecution of violators. Whereas offenders used to get off on a Class C misdemeanor charge, they can now receive up to a Class 4 Felony charge. 

Will cases like that of Andrew D. Lemine encourage Congress to pass a federal law on misclassification, or will more states need to take matters in their own hands?

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