FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEENRD
FRIDAY, AUGUST 24, 2001(202) 514-2008
WWW.USDOJ.GOVTDD (202) 514-1888
CONTRACT LABOR FIRM, OFFICERS SENTENCED FOR SCHEME
TO ILLEGALLY HIRE IMMIGRANTS TO REMOVE ASBESTOS
WASHINGTON, D.C. The president and vice president of Construction Personnel Inc., a contract labor firm, were sentenced today on several felony charges resulting from their scheme to hiring unauthorized aliens from Mexico, Central and South America to remove asbestos.
The company, president Roy Weaver, vice-president Ronald Goodwin, and Tina Voiles, a payroll clerk, were sentenced in U.S. District Court in Chattanooga, Tenn., on charges of conspiracy, money laundering, wire fraud, making false claims and violating immigration law.
From 1997 to February 2000, Chattanooga-based Construction Personnel, Inc. (CPI), formerly known as Service Management, Inc., hired unauthorized aliens from Mexico, Central and South America to work for contractors doing asbestos removal around the United States. Many of the unauthorized workers were not properly trained in asbestos removal, and many had false training and health certifications.
Weaver, 72, was sentenced to serve three years probation, pay a criminal fine of $7,500, and potentially pay up to $328,000 in restitution.
Goodwin, 51, was sentenced to serve one year in custody, two years supervised release, and pay into the total $328,000 restitution.
Voiles 39, pled guilty to a misdemeanor and was sentenced to serve one year probation.
The company was sentenced to three years probation and pay into the $328,000 restitution. One conditions of the probation is that the company must allow inspections by the probation office, and pay the cost of expert inspectors if the probation office determines they are required to evaluate the conduct of the business.
In addition to its headquarters in Chattanooga, CPI also had offices in Denver and Baton Rouge. CPI's project manager in Denver taught asbestos abatement classes in Spanish. These classes, required by federal and state law to prepare workers to handle asbestos, were actually used to recruit workers who were known to be in the United States illegally. During the classes, the instructor told workers to go along with circumvention of safety procedures, and to evade immigration officers by throwing asbestos at them before running away. As part of the investigation, undercover agents attended classes in asbestos abatement, and they obtained a court order to tap CPI's phones.
Two other CPI employees, Sandra Rinnander of Denver, and Maria Shumaker of Baton Rouge, were sentenced earlier to probationary terms for misdemeanor violations of United States immigration law. Investigations concerning other CPI agents and employees are continuing.
CPI entered guilty pleas in Denver, Baton Rouge and Chattanooga, with all of the cases consolidated in Chattanooga for sentencing.
Some CPI employees, including unauthorized aliens from Mexico using fraudulent identification documents, were sent to various federal facilities, including the Rocky Mountain Arsenal in Denver, to perform asbestos abatement work.
The case was prosecuted by the United States Attorney's Offices in Denver, Chattanooga and Baton Rouge, coordinated by the Environmental Crimes Section of the Department of Justice. The investigation of CPI involved special agents of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, the Department of Defense Criminal Investigative Service, the U.S. EPA, the Internal Revenue Service, the FBI, the Social Security Administration, and the Colorado State Department of Health.