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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Louisiana

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, December 10, 2014

St. Tammany Restaurants and Owner Sentenced for Employing Illegal Aliens

U.S. Attorney Kenneth A. Polite announced that OSAKA THAI CORPORATION, which operated Osaka Japanese Restaurant and Thai House Restaurant in Slidell, SHINTO RESTAURANT, INC., which operated Shinto Japanese Restaurant in Lafayette, and their owner, TONY NGUYEN, age 57, of Slidell, were sentenced today for conspiring to harbor aliens and for engaging in an unlawful pattern and practice of employing aliens.

U.S. District Judge Ivan L.R. Lemelle sentenced the Osaka Thai Corporation, the Shinto Restaurant, Inc., and Tony Nguyen to three years probation and forfeiture of $250,000 of illegal proceeds.

On August 20, 2014, OSAKA THAI CORPORATION and SHINTO RESTAURANT, INC. pled guilty to conspiracy to conceal, harbor, and shield from detection illegal aliens and encourage and induce illegal aliens to remain in the country by providing them housing, transportation, and employment at the restaurants operated by the defendants.  That same day, NGUYEN pled guilty to knowingly engaging in a pattern and practice of hiring aliens he knew were unauthorized to work in the United States.  As part of their plea agreement, the defendants agreed to forfeit $250,000 in illegal proceeds to the United States.

According to court documents, the defendants knowingly hired illegal aliens to work in their restaurants over a period of several years and provided the aliens with housing and a van to transport them from the housing to the restaurants.  Eighteen illegal aliens were arrested when special agents executed search warrants at the restaurants.     

U.S. Attorney Polite praised the work of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) - Homeland Security Investigations in investigating this matter.  Assistant U.S. Attorney David Haller was in charge of the prosecution.

Updated December 10, 2014