FEBRUARY 23, 2007
A major janitorial company has been shut down for operating with a ghost workforce of illegal immigrants that got paid in cash and allowed its owners to use the tax funds to lead extravagant lifestyles.
The Florida-based company, Rosenbaum-Cunningham International, avoided paying $18 million in employment taxes by recruiting, transporting and hiring illegal immigrants that provided cleaning and lawn keeping services to fancy resorts and restaurants around the country.
In a 23-count indictment, federal prosecutors say the company’s owners used the money to buy race horses, lavish homes, luxury boats and college tuition for their children.
The company was first investigated about a year go for tax fraud and trafficking in the labor of illegal immigrants. The probe led to the conviction of a company supervisor who received a $1,000 bonus for getting 20 fake visas for cleaning crews at a Michigan resort and admitted committing tax fraud and harboring illegal immigrants.
Numerous well-known resorts and national restaurant chains have contracted Rosenbaum-Cunningham International through the years, including the Hard Rock Cafe, Planet Hollywood, ESPN Zone and the upscale Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. So far, 220 illegal immigrants at 63 locations in 17 states have been arrested.
Advocates of illegal immigrants immediately condemned the arrests, saying that such raids are an ineffective way to attack illegal immigration and they only create fear in the immigrant community.
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