Contact: Donald E. Clark
Assistant United States Attorney
Tel: (207) 780-3257
Bangor, Maine: United States Attorney Thomas E. Delahanty II announced that Mei
Juan Zhang, 31, of Fairfield, Maine, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court by Chief Judge
John A. Woodcock, Jr. to 14 months of imprisonment to be followed by 3 years of supervised release for
harboring undocumented aliens for commercial advantage and private financial gain, money
laundering conspiracy, and conspiracy to file false employer's quarterly federal tax returns. She
was also ordered to pay restitution of $54,288 to the Internal Revenue Service. Zhang pled
guilty to the charges on April 18, 2013.
According to court records, between 2009 and 2011, the defendant was the manager of
the Grand Asian Buffet and the Super China Buffet, located on Kennedy Memorial Drive in
Waterville. In that capacity, she managed a Chinese buffet restaurant that brought
undocumented aliens into Maine to work, had them work six to seven days per week, twelve
hours per day, housed them in a cramped residence on Oak Street in Waterville, transported them
back and forth each day to work, paid them under the table with cash generated illegally by the
employment of undocumented aliens, and filed numerous false quarterly employment tax returns
in which the undocumented aliens were not disclosed and employment taxes were not properly
withheld or paid. The investigation revealed that about half of the employees at the buffet over
that period were undocumented, and that the defendant’s activities concealed about $250,000 in
wages and thwarted the collection of about $55,000 in employment taxes.
The investigation was conducted by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s
Homeland Security Investigations, the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, the U.S.
Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General, Office of Labor Racketeering & Fraud
Investigations, with assistance from the Waterville Police Department.