Champaign Roofer Charged with Immigration Violations
Springfield, Ill. – The owner of Gire Roofing, Inc., and its corporate parent, Grayson Enterprises, Inc., of Champaign, Ill., have been charged on multiple federal immigration violations. Edwin J. Gire made his initial appearance in federal court in Springfield on June 21, 2016, before U.S. District Judge Sue E. Myerscough. A trial date of Aug. 2, 2016, is scheduled for Gire and Grayson Enterprises, doing business as Gire Roofing, Inc., in Springfield.
On June 8, 2016, a federal grand jury returned the 10-count indictment that charges Gire with visa immigration fraud (four counts), harboring illegal aliens (three counts), and unlawful employment of aliens (three counts). The indictment also charges Grayson Enterprises, Inc. in eight of the ten counts and seeks forfeiture of the Gire Roofing property located at 309 West Hensley Road in Champaign, Ill., which is alleged to have been used to facilitate the commission of the offenses.
The indictment alleges that in March 2011, August 2011, March 2013, and April 2014, Gire submitted petitions to the U.S. Department of Labor and to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to obtain foreign workers to perform roofing work in Champaign County and Douglas County, Ill. The indictment further alleges that to support the need for workers, Gire submitted contracts that he knew were false with the petitions, causing the State Department to issue H-2B non-immigrant worker visas to more than 150 foreign workers.
The indictment further alleges that from 2008 to 2014, Gire engaged in a practice and pattern of knowingly hiring unauthorized aliens, and in 2014, harbored those same illegal aliens in Champaign County, Ill., for the purpose of commercial advantage and private financial gain.
If convicted, each count of visa fraud and harboring illegal aliens carries a penalty of up to ten years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The unlawful employment of aliens charges carry a penalty of up to six months imprisonment and a maximum fine of $3,000 for each unauthorized alien employed.
The charges are the result of investigation by the U.S. Department of State, Diplomatic Security Service; the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations; and, the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Eugene L. Miller.
Members of the public are reminded that an indictment is merely an accusation; the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.