LEXINGTON Two former part owners of four Subway restaurants in Lexington admitted they employed unauthorized aliens and intentionally failed to pay them lawful wages.
Amrutlal Patel, 46, pleaded guilty to harboring unauthorized aliens, and his wife Dakshaben Patel, 46, pleaded guilty to evading employment taxes. Both defendants also pleaded guilty to failure to pay employees overtime hours.
According to court documents, from April 2012 until November 2013, Amrutlal Patel used his residence to harbor four unauthorized aliens, who were employed at the Subway restaurants. These employees worked as many as 80 hours a week, but the Patels paid them below minimum wage and didn’t compensate them for overtime hours. Federal law requires employers to pay employees a minimum wage of $7.25 an hour and one and one-half times that rate for hours worked that exceed 40 in a week.
Dakshaben Patel acknowledged that she omitted unauthorized aliens from the payroll in order to evade taxes. According to the plea agreement, the couple must pay between $9,000 and $9,900 in payroll taxes, a $65,000 money judgment which is in lieu of a real estate forfeiture to the government, and $40,000 in restitution to the improperly compensated employees.
Kerry B. Harvey, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky and Gary T. Hartwig, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Ronnie Bastin, Chief, Lexington Division of Police and Christopher A. Henry, Special Agent in Charge, IRS, Criminal Investigation Division, jointly announced the plea.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Hydee Hawkins and David Marye, and Civil Rights Attorney, Benjamin Hawk, prosecuted this case on behalf of the federal government.
The Patels will be sentenced on September 4, 2014. Amrutlal Patel faces a maximum of ten years in prison and a Dakshaben Patel faces a maximum of five years. However, any sentence imposed by the Court would come after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statutes governing the imposition of sentences.