United States Attorney David Capp
Northern District of Indiana
5400 Federal Plaza, Suite 1500
Hammond, Indiana 46320
Hammond South Bend Fort
Hammond South Bend Fort Wayne
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Mary Hatton
www.usdoj.gov/usao/inn/ FAX (219) 852-2770
LOCAL RESTAURANT OWNERS INDICTED
Hammond, Indiana- United States Attorney David Capp announced that the following Indictment was returned on October 17, 2012 and unsealed today:
Michael McClellan, 38, and Tina McClellan, 36, of Richton Park, Illinois, owners and operators of the Paragon Restaurant in Schererville, Indiana and T & M Daycare located in Calumet City, Illinois, were indicted by the Grand Jury sitting for the Northern District of Indiana. Michael McClellan, 38, was charged with one count of harboring illegal aliens and three counts of mail fraud. McClellan, and his wife Tina McClellan, were also charged with one count of making money transactions in criminally derived property.
The Indictment alleges that in February 2009, and continuing until on or about March 2010, Michael McClellan harbored illegal aliens at the Paragon Restaurant and at a home he owned located behind the restaurant. He also submitted false quarterly reports which failed to account for restaurant employees he had paid in cash in a scheme to defraud the Indiana Department of Workforce Development out of unemployment insurance tax contributions. Additionally, the Indictment alleges that from 2006 through 2010, the McClellan’s, as owners of the T & M Daycare center, provided false information to the State of Illinois claiming certain children had attended the daycare, when, in fact, they had not, causing reimbursements of at least $200,000 from the State of Illinois and Healthy Start program. The McClellan’s used the criminally derived funds to purchase the home located behind the Paragon Restaurant.
"Homeland Security Investigations holds employers accountable when they knowingly hire an illegal alien workforce to gain an unfair advantage over their law-abiding competitors. Our goal is to level the playing field for those businesses that play by the rules", said Gary Hartwig, special agent in charge of HSI Chicago.
The McClellans had their initial appearance today before Magistrate Judge Paul Cherry and will be formally arraigned on 12/11/12 at 11 AM.
These charges were filed as the result of an investigation by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation Division, the US Department of Labor-Office of the Inspector General, the Social Security Administration-Office of the Inspector General, and the Indiana Department of Workforce Development. This case has been assigned to and will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Gary Bell.
The United States Attorney's Office emphasized that an Indictment is merely an allegation and that all persons charged are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.
If convicted in court, any specific sentence to be imposed will be determined by the judge after a consideration of federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.