KANSAS CITY, KAN. – The owners of Wei’s Super Buffet restaurant in Olathe have been charged with harboring undocumented workers who were in the United States unlawfully, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said today.
A federal criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Kan., alleges the owners and managers of the restaurant violated federal law by knowingly employing, transporting and housing undocumented workers.
The following defendants were charged with one count of conspiracy to transport undocumented workers; conceal, harbor and shield undocumented workers; and encourage or induce undocumented workers to unlawfully enter or remain in the United States.
Wei Liu, 40,Olathe, Kan., owner of Wei’s Super Buffet at 12225 Strang Line Road in Olathe and Wei’s Super Buffet at 7531 Wornall Road in Kansas City, Mo.
Xiang Liu, 35, Olathe, Kan., Wei Liu’s wife and restaurant manager.
Jin Hui Liu, 47, Olathe, Kan., Wei Liu’s brother in law.
Huiqing Liu, 44, Olathe, Kan., Wei Liu’s sister.
Quan Liu, 25, Kansas City, Mo., manager of the Wei’s Super Buffet in Kansas City, Mo.
Bin Liu, 39, Olathe, Kan.
An investigator’s affidavit filed in support of the complaint alleges that beginning in February 2011 agents of Homeland Security Investigations began surveillance on the owners, managers and employees at Wei’s Super Buffet. They checked Quarterly Wage Report and Unemployment Tax Returns submitted by the restaurant to the Kansas Department of Labor and they identified employees who were illegally present in the United States. They also identified apartments rented by the defendants where undocumented workers were living.
On Nov. 5, 2013, investigators served search and seizure warrants. During a search of Wei and Xiang Liu’s residence, where Biu Liu also resided, they found boxes of records associated with the daily operations of the restaurant and ledgers identifying the restaurant’s revenue. During the search of Jin Hui and Huiqing Liu’s residence, they found six undocumented workers residing the basement, all of whom worked at the restaurant. During the search of an apartment leased by Quan Liu near the restaurant in Kansas City, Mo., they found six undocumented workers residing there.
If convicted, the defendants face a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott Rask is prosecuting.
In all cases, defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. The indictments merely contain allegations of criminal conduct.