Grove City Woman Pleads Guilty In Illegal Alien Case And To Failing To File An Income Tax Return
COLUMBUS – Jennifer A. Quintana, 38, of Grove City, Ohio, owner and operator of Quintana Construction, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to one count inducing one or more illegal aliens to enter the U.S. and to one count of willfully failing to file a federal income tax return with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Carter M. Stewart, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, Kathy Enstrom, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, Special Agent in Charge James Vanderberg, U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General, and Special Agent in Charge Marlon Miller, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced the plea entered today before U.S. District Judge Edmund A. Sargus, Jr.
According to court documents, Quintana Construction, which is operated out of Jennifer Quintana’s residence, is a construction labor contracting business that provided labor for framing assembly and apartment/condominium construction in the greater Columbus, Ohio area. Jennifer Quintana is married to Felix Quintana. Felix Quintana is a citizen of the country of Mexico and is documented to work in the U.S. Felix Quintana organized and supervised the workforce for Quintana Construction and was considered the on-site supervisor.
From January 2005 through November 2009, Quintana Construction knowingly used the labor of undocumented illegal aliens to do construction work on various job sites. The investigation revealed that in 2007, 15 undocumented illegal aliens were utilized by Quintana Construction and in 2008, 14 undocumented illegal aliens were used. For each year, the illegal aliens were the primary work force used by Quintana Construction. The undocumented illegal alien employees had no authorization to seek or maintain gainful employment in the U.S.
Jennifer Quintana submitted false forms to the IRS stating that workers were sub-contractors of Quintana Construction with valid taxpayer identification numbers, when in fact she knew they were undocumented illegal alien workers.
In 2007, Jennifer Quintana filed 18 Forms 1099-MISC with the IRS on behalf of Quintana Construction which reported nonemployee compensation paid to sub-contractors. Of these 18 Forms 1099-MISC, 15 were rejected by the IRS for not having matching names and taxpayer identification numbers. In addition, of the 18 Forms 1099-MISC, 10 of them had also been rejected by the IRS in a prior year. Upon acknowledgement of these rejected Forms 1099-MISC and receipt of the IRS Form CP2100, which reports such rejections, Quintana Construction was obligated to begin backup employment tax withholdings for those individuals, reporting such backup withholdings on a Form 945, Annual Return of Withheld Federal Income Tax, and was obligated to pay to the IRS any applicable collected backup withholdings, which Jennifer Quintana failed to do.
For tax year 2008, Quintana Construction, by and through Jennifer Quintana, paid wages in the form of non-employee compensation to her employees totaling $220,669.00, which was subject to backup withholding of federal income taxes totaling $61,787.32.
Inducing one or more illegal aliens to enter the U.S is punishable by a fine of up to $500,000 and three years of organizational supervision. Willfully failing to file a federal income tax return with the IRS is punishable by up to one year in prison, a fine of not more than $10,000, and one year of supervised release
In addition, Jennifer Quintana agreed to cease doing business as a labor contracting firm for the construction industry.
Judge Sargus will schedule a sentencing hearing following a pre-sentence investigation by the court.
U.S. Attorney Stewart commended the investigation by IRS, the Department of Labor, and ICE, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Douglas W. Squires, who is representing the United States in this case.