GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESSMAN SENTENCED FOR EMPLOYING ILLEGAL ALIENS
KALAMAZOO RAPIDS, MICHIGAN – Oswaldo Ernesto Garces, 49, of Grand Rapids, was sentenced to one year of probation to include six weekends in jail, four months of home detention, and 100 hours of community service following his conviction for knowingly employing illegal aliens, U.S. Attorney Donald A. Davis announced today. Garces, a citizen of Ecuador, also faces an immigration hearing to determine whether he should be removed to his native country.
On October 21, 2010, Garces pled guilty to falsely attesting to the eligibility of aliens to work in the United States when, in fact, he knew that the documents presented by the aliens were not genuine and the applicants could not lawfully be employed in the United States, as well as a second charge of continuing to employ such aliens with knowledge that they were unauthorized. Garces acknowledged that in his capacity as CEO of Clean-Tech-Services, LLC, he hired persons who presented Social Security cards and Permanent Resident cards which he know or believed to be fraudulent and that he continued their employment after determining that they lacked the proper documentation to be lawfully employed in the United States. Evidence of these offenses was obtained during the execution of a federal search warrant in May 2010.
In imposing sentence, Chief U.S. District Judge Paul L. Maloney declared that this offense “strikes at the heart of this country’s ability to control its borders” and “undermines our immigration system.”
Echoing the court’s comments, Brian M. Moskowitz, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) for Michigan and Ohio, stated: “Jobs are a major reason people come to America–be it in accordance with our laws or by breaking them. Those who facilitate the latter for the sake of profit need to understand that their actions come with a price. Employers involved in the illicit hiring of workers and those who commit related crimes to support the practice should take note: doing business in this manner could wind up costing them their freedom.”
This case is the result of an investigation by the Grand Rapids Office of HSI. It was prosecuted on behalf of the United States by Assistant U.S. Attorney Donald Daniels.