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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Pennsylvania

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Operator Of Illegal Alien Employment Business In Scranton Pleads Guilty

     The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that an operator of an illegal alien employment business in Scranton pleaded guilty today in federal court before U.S. District Court Judge A. Richard Caputo.

     According to United States Attorney Peter J. Smith, Rama Putra, age 32, residing in Scranton, pleaded guilty to Count I of an indictment returned in October 2012 by a grand jury in Scranton.  Count I charges Putra with conspiracy to commit money laundering, and the employment and transportation of illegal aliens.  Putra was charged for committing the offenses from January 2007 through September 2012.

     The indictment stemmed from a continuing joint investigation by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security - Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Pennsylvania State Police.

     The indictment alleged that Putra engaged in a conspiracy to promote and conceal the profits of a temporary employment agency known as “H&Y Staffing, Inc.” operating out of a Scranton address which recruited, employed, and transported an illegal work force. “H&Y Staffing, Inc.” provided dozens of illegal temporary employees to businesses in the Scranton area over a period of several years. Putra, in furtherance of the conspiracy, allegedly provided transportation for the illegal workers, paid the illegal work force in cash on a weekly basis, and cashed checks from local businesses at check cashing services located in Philadelphia as part of the scheme to conceal and promote the underlying criminal activity.

     In this particular case, the maximum penalty under the federal statute is five years’ imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant’s educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.

     Sentencing is scheduled for April 25, 2013.

     Prosecution is assigned to Assistant United States Attorney Michelle Olshefski.

Updated April 17, 2015