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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Minnesota

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, March 20, 2015

Two Twin Cities’ Restauranteurs Plead Guilty To Hiring Undocumented Workers


United States Attorney Andrew M. Luger today announced the guilty pleas of MING GUO, 46, owner of two Twin Cities restaurants, both named Hibachi Grill and Supreme Buffet, and BIJIAN WENG, a/k/a “Wilson,” 28, manager of the restaurants, for employing unlawful aliens. GUO and WENG were charged on January 26, 2015, with one count each of Knowingly Hiring Ten or More Unlawful Aliens. GUO and WENG appeared earlier today in U.S. District Court in St. Paul, Minn.

“Undocumented workers are vulnerable to exploitation,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura Provinzino. “Those who intentionally employ undocumented immigrants allow for these workers to be taken advantage of. Disrupting labor trafficking and punishing those who don’t follow the law is critical to ensure the safety of both legal and unauthorized workers.”

“The guilty pleas today should send a strong message to the Minnesota business community – companies that knowingly employ unauthorized aliens subject themselves to investigation and they will be punished accordingly.” said Special Agent in Charge J. Michael Netherland, of HSI St. Paul. “Our goal is to protect job opportunities for the nation’s legal workers and to level the playing field for those businesses that play by the rules.”

According to the defendants’ guilty plea and documents filed in court, from September 30, 2013 through September 30, 2014, GUO and WENG knowingly hired and employed at least 17 individuals who were not authorized to be employed or lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the United States. On September 30, 2014, HSI agents executed search warrants at the restaurants in Spring Lake Park and West St. Paul, Minnesota. They identified 17 undocumented workers working in the restaurants.

According to the defendants’ guilty plea and documents filed in court, GUO and WENG were aware that the employees were not authorized to work in the United States. Moreover, the defendants did not ask the employees to fill out paperwork, including I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification forms. GUO and WENG also failed to report the unauthorized workers to the Minnesota Department of Economic Development. The employees were paid in cash “off the books.”

This case is the result of an investigation conducted by Homeland Security Investigations.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Julie E. Allyn and Laura M. Provinzino are prosecuting this case.


Defendant Information:

MING GUO, 46
North Miami Beach, Fla.

Convicted:
• Knowingly Hiring Ten or More Unlawful Aliens, 1 count

BIJIAN WENG, 28
Spring Lake Park, Minn.

Convicted:
• Knowingly Hiring Ten or More Unlawful Aliens, 1 count

 

 

Component(s): 
Updated April 30, 2015