Oklahoma City Man Pleads Guilty for False Representation to the Department Of Labor to Employ Mexican Workers
OKLAHOMA CITY – FELIPE GUTIERREZ, 48, of Oklahoma City, pleaded guilty yesterday to making a false statement and representation to the Department of Labor ("DOL") to employ Mexican workers, announced First Assistant United States Attorney Robert J. Troester.
According to an Information filed February 12, 2019, Mr. Gutierrez, who owns and operates Felipe’s Lawn Care—a local lawn care company in Oklahoma City—falsely represented to the DOL that he had not sought or received any payment from his employees in connection with obtaining certification for their employment from the DOL.
At his guilty plea hearing yesterday, Mr. Gutierrez admitted that he submitted an H-2B Application for Temporary Employment Certification to the DOL in order to obtain permission to hire workers from Mexico. Though the Application required Mr. Gutierrez to certify that he had not sought or received any payment of any kind from these prospective workers, Mr. Gutierrez had, in fact, demanded and received payment from some of them. According to a Plea Agreement filed in the case, Mr. Gutierrez received a total of between $40,0000 and $95,000 from these workers.
At a sentencing hearing set for June 20, 2019, Mr. Gutierrez faces up to five years in prison, as well as a maximum $250,000 fine, along with a term of supervised release of up to three years. He also must pay restitution to the victims of his conduct in an amount to be determined by the court at sentencing.
This case is the result of an investigation by the FBI and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Julia E. Barry.
Reference is made to court records for further information.