A central Ohio construction contractor pleaded guilty Aug. 28 to employing undocumented workers and inducing them to enter the U.S. illegally.

According to media reports, Jennifer Quintana pleaded guilty in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio on behalf of her construction company, Quintana Construction, to one felony count of hiring undocumented workers. Quintana also personally pleaded guilty to one count of willingly failing to file a federal tax return for nonemployee wages, a misdemeanor violation.

The indictment, filed Aug. 5, said that from 2005 through 2009 the construction firm, “did encourage and induce one or more aliens” to illegally enter and reside in the U.S.

Quintana Construction hired 15 immigrants in 2007 and 14 immigrants in 2008 to provide labor for framing assembly and apartment and condominium construction in central Ohio, according to court documents.

The situation was uncovered after Quintana filed 1099-MISC forms with the IRS in 2007. The IRS rejected 15 of the forms for not having matching taxpayer names and identification numbers.

A sentencing date has not been set. Quintana could be given a maximum fine of $500,000 and three years of “organizational supervision” for employing undocumented workers, according to court documents related to her plea.

She could be sentenced to a year in prison and fined $10,000 on the tax count. Quintana has agreed to stop doing business as a labor contracting firm for the construction industry.

 

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