A vice president of a staffing company was recently sentenced after helping non-citizens obtain work in the United States.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced that 51-year-old Sergio Badani of St. Charles, Illinois, was sentenced to two years' probation and fined $15,000 after pleading guilty last year to one count of conspiracy to commit harboring for purposes of commercial advantage.
As vice president of a large staffing company, evidence shows Badani used his role to knowingly conceal the true identities of 17 noncitizen workers from the U.S. government. A civil employment audit by HSI of KSO MetalFab Inc, a sheet metal fabrication company in Streamwood, Illinois, previously identified these employees as noncitizens.
The workers were terminated following the audit, but Badani helped the workers obtain their former jobs using false identification documents. Badani admitted to participating in the scheme while his staffing company collected more than $1 million in fees from the factory owners. Badani also admitted that he received a portion of this profit in the form of monetary bonuses.
ICE's Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) investigated the case with assistance from the U.S. Department of Labor and Social Security Administration.
"When businesses knowingly hire an illegal workforce, it threatens the integrity of our country’s immigration system, economic health and puts the security of our homeland at risk," said Acting Special Agent in Charge R. Sean Fitzgerald of HSI Chicago. "HSI is committed to protecting our communities from the abuses of corrupt business owners seeking to gain an illegal advantage and make a steep profit off the backs of others."
"Undocumented workers are at a significant disadvantage in the workplace, making them much more likely to be exploited by employers," Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christopher V. Parente and Ashley A. Chung argued in the government’s sentencing memorandum.
Four employees at the sheet metal company previously charged with knowingly hiring and harboring undocumented workers have pleaded guilty and are currently awaiting trial.