Skip to comments.Owner of Riviera Beach company sentenced to 16 months in prison for hiring illegal workers
Posted on 09/18/2010 10:36:34 AM PDT by Inappropriate Laughter
WEST PALM BEACH The national battle over the government's inability to stem the tide of illegal immigrants got personal Friday in a federal courtroom.
U.S. District Court Judge Kenneth Marra bristled at the suggestion that the government's time would be better spent keeping illegal immigrants from entering the country than prosecuting a suburban West Palm Beach man for hiring them. Business people such as Mark David, Marra said, are a big part of the problem.
"One of the reason they come is because people hire them," Marra said. "If people wouldn't hire them they wouldn't be coming in droves."
And, prosecutors said, the 48-year-old owner of Sun Deck Concrete not only hired illegal immigrants but he paid them more than $2 million under the table, which meant he didn't pay nearly $480,000 in payroll taxes or worker's compensation insurance.
David's attorney Bruce Reinhart said his client hired the illegal workers at his Riviera Beach firm because they were longtime friends, good workers and he couldn't find American-born or documented workers to do the job.
Marra didn't buy it.
"Mr. David said he needed these workers. That means he needed these worker at a price he was willing to pay," Marra said. "There's a profit motive here."
As to Reinhart's claim that the practice is widespread in the construction industry, Marra said that's exactly why David had to be punished.
"People need to know there's serious consequences for this behavior," he said.
David, who faced a maximum five years in prison, was sentenced to 16 months behind bars. He has already repaid the IRS and the insurance company. The lenient sentence, Marra said, was spurred by the numerous people wrote letters or spoke on David's behalf.
Among those who spoke at the hearing was Tory Buckley. His daughter, 17-year-old softball player Amanda, was murdered in 2007. Buckley told how David worked tirelessly to make the Amanda J. Buckley Memorial Field of Dreams in Palm Beach Gardens a reality.
"Why did he do it?" Buckley asked, his voice choked with emotion. "His integrity as a man."
However, an attorney who represented a former Sun Deck supervisor who helped David mask his hiring practices, said his behavior wasn't always honorable.
When David discovered that Juan Gonzalez was helping the feds unravel the shell companies he had created to hide his illegal business practices, he fired Gonzalez, said David Garvin, who represented Gonzalez.
Prosecutors acknowledged that Gonzalez, 49, of West Palm Beach, had helped them build the case. Gonzalez apologized for being involved in the scheme. He didn't ask for mercy.
Still, Marra said, because of his cooperation he would spend less time behind bars than his former boss. He sentenced him to 10 months in prison.
Those who hire invaders should be permanently deported to the country the invaders are from, along with those employees and their families.
Tell me again how Illegals pay taxes?
Here’s a hint: Next time register and donate DEMOCRAT! ; P
What happened to the illegals?
Did they get citizenship, welfare, unemployment and food stamps?
So that’s what he’s REALLY being punished for, not paying taxes.
And it was his under-investigation jefe who gave him to the feds for time off.
I guess this particular case was just too big to look the other way. If he’d gone about it properly and gave the employees fake SS numbers and paid the taxes all would have been well.
This might have a salutary effect. I imagine only a few such people getting caught and punished has a large impact but the real lesson to be imparted here is doubtless that if you’re going to hire illegals, make sure Uncle Sam gets his cut.
This guy still got off easy. He only had to pay his back taxes and back workers’ compensation insurance and got much less than the five year maximum he could have received. He should have received at least a fine of the amount of money he tried to avoid in taxes and workers’ compensation insurance and been sentenced to the full five-year sentence. I guess the judge hopes that something less than a year and a half will make others think twice. I suspect it will only make them more careful about their business “practices”.
If business people knowingly hire illegals they should pay a very heavy price. It is stealing from the larger community for their own gain. In short, theft.
We wouldn’t have to build a wall if no one hired illegals and if it were made illegal for an illegal to get a mortgage or to rent housing they would self deport.
Good for the judge. I hope he gets one HELL of a lot more of these guys put behind bars.
Good for Judge Marra.
Bet these guys were hard core, hanging chad RATS too.