Former Chinese Restaurant Owner Pleads Guilty to Harboring Illegal Aliens
BUFFALO, N.Y.-- U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Wan Qin Lu, of Cheektowaga, N.Y., pleaded guilty before Chief U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny, to harboring illegal aliens for commercial advantage and private financial gain. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, a fine of $250,000 or both.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael DiGiacomo who is handling the case, stated that the defendant was the former owner and manager of the Easy Z Wok Restaurant in Cheektowaga. Department of Homeland Security investigators gathered information that the defendant was employing two illegal Mexican nationals. Federal agents subsequently executed a search warrant at the restaurant and the defendant’s home. During the search of the defendant’s home, agents discovered two Mexican nationals living in the basement. The investigation also revealed that the defendant was paying the Mexican nationals cash thereby avoiding paying payroll taxes.
The plea is the culmination of an investigation on the part of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge James C. Spero.
Sentencing is scheduled for January 14, 2014 at 9:00 a.m. before Judge Skretny.