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Temp agency chief made $12M from illegal immigrants - (1/25/2011)

Wilkes-barre -- A 50-year-old Danville man was sentenced Tuesday to five years in federal prison for operating a temporary employment agency with illegal immigrants that generated $12 million in revenue between 2002 and 2007.

Jimmy Nguyen pleaded guilty to money laundering and conspiracy to defraud the government in November. He reportedly supplied laborers through his H&T Staffing agency to various companies within the Middle District of Pennsylvania -- which includes Montour, Northumberland, Union and Snyder counties. Most of the laborers worked at a cosmetics makeup tubing company in Stroudsburg, according to U.S. Attorney Martin C. Carlson.

Carlson's office said an investigation continues into whether the companies that hired the illegal immigrants will face charges. Information on how many laborers and the number of companies involved were not readily available, according to Carlson's office.
A federal investigation revealed Nguyen's laborers were undocumented workers and that his agency made in excess of $12 million over a five-year period. Because the income generated was from the use of an illegal workforce, H&T failed to make payments of $213,833 to the Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation Program and $345,172 to the U.S. Medicare Trust Fund, according to Carlson.

U.S. District Court Judge A. Richard Caputo also ordered Nguyen to repay the money owed to the state and federal governments and be placed on supervised release for three years after serving his prison sentence.

In addition, Nguyen is the subject of several government actions to forfeit his property.

Carlson said the case was investigated by special agents of the Department of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the U.S. Department of Labor, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services office of the inspector general, as well as the state police.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Christian A. Fisanick, chief of the Criminal Division.

E-mail comments to jnorth@dailyitem.com.

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