President of Carson City Company Pleads Guilty/Sentenced for Employing Unauthorized Aliens
Reno, Nev. - Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada, announces that BEN VANDENBOSSCHE, age 57, a resident of Carson City, Nevada, was sentenced today by U.S. Magistrate Judge Valerie Cooke for his guilty pleas to three misdemeanor counts of unlawfully employing aliens at his Stonewear, Inc. manufacturing business in Carson City. VANDENBOSSCHE was ordered to pay a criminal fine of $9,000 and an administrative penalty of $110,000 to the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (BICE). Because he is a rancher in northern Nevada, VANDENBOSSCHE also agreed to make a charitable donation of beef which will be distributed to northern Nevada charities. Two of VANDENBOSSCHE's managers at Stonewear, Inc., RAY BOWERS, of Reno, and EUGENE SOULIER, of Carson City, also pleaded guilty today to one count of unlawful employment of aliens and were ordered to pay a $500 fine each.
According to the court records, from approximately July 2000 through July 2002, Special Agents with BICE determined that approximately 65 undocumented aliens were working at the Stonewear, Inc. manufacturing business in Carson City. A review of Stonewear Inc.'s records revealed that VANDENBOSSCHE, BOWERS, and SOULIER acted with reckless disregard, in that they knew or should have known that the employees were unauthorized aliens and not eligible for employment under United States laws.
The prosecution is the result of an investigation by Special Agents with BICE in Reno. Numerous other agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Carson City Sheriff's Department, Nevada Division of Investigation and Nevada Highway Patrol also assisted in the service and execution of a search warrant at Stonewear, Inc. on July 16, 2002. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Sue Fahami.