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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Ohio

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Four Akron residents indicted for conspiring to harbor undocumented workers and hire them at restaurant

A federal grand jury returned a four-count indictment charging four Akron residents with conspiracy and harboring undocumented and illegal aliens in relation to their operation of a restaurant in Akron, said Steven M. Dettelbach, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio

Indicted are Chau Fang Lam, age 56, Rui Xu, age 27, Xin Hsu, age 33, and Zhou Qiang Zou, age 32.

Lam, Xu, Hsu, and Zou owned and operated the Royal Buffet and Grill restaurant in the Chapel Hill area of Akron, Ohio. Lam, Xu, Hsu, and Zou conspired to harbor and harbored at least 10 undocumented workers for the purpose of commercial advantage and private financial gain. The conspiracy included employing the undocumented workers at the Royal Buffet and Grill, where they worked for below minium wage or only for tips, according to the indictment.

The defendants also housed the undocumented worker at one of their residences on Annapolis Avenue in Akron and transporting them to and from the Royal Buffet and Grill as part of the conspiracy. At one time, Lam, Xu, Hsu, and Zou housed as many as 14 undocumented workers inside a single-family resident on Annapolis Avenue, according to the indictment.

Count 1 charges Lam, Xu, Hsu, and Zou with conspiracy to harbor illegal aliens, Count 2 charges Lam with harboring illegal aliens at her residence on Annapolis Avenue. Count 3 charges Xu with harboring illegal aliens at his residence on Annapolis Avenue. Count 4 charges Hsu and Xu with harboring illegal aliens by permitting them to be transported to and from their work at the Royal Buffet and Grill in their 2006 Dodge Caravan.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Teresa Riley following an investigation by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Investigations in Cleveland.

If convicted, their sentence will be determined by the court after review of factors unique to this case, including prior criminal records, if any, their role in the offenses and the unique characteristics of the violations.  In all cases, the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum and in most cases it will be less than the maximum.            

An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt.  A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government's burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Updated February 4, 2016