Indicted Builders Used Illegal Aliens To Build Classrooms

Earlier this month, the Miami-Dade School Board's watchdog agency and federal immigration agents busted a family of south Miami-Dade builders using 20 undocumented immigrants to build new modular classrooms at Southside Elementary. According to a July 1 federal indictment, Luis Daniel, his son Ariel, and his wife Marta Duque hired and underpaid 14 Mexicans, five Guatemalans, and one El Salvadoran in a scheme to maximize their profits. The clan's company Daniel Builders was awarded the $2.7 million job in September 2008.

Immigration Customs Enforcement agents began the probe in February of last year based on an initial audit by the Miami-Dade Inspector General's Office that uncovered the illegal alien laborers at the school site located at 45 SW 13th St in Miami. The indictment says Daniel Builders did not pay the workers standard and overtime wages and did not deduct social security and income taxes from their paychecks. The family also formed shell companies to act as labor providers and payroll administrators as a way to insulate themselves from the illegal workers.

Daniel, his son, and his wife were charged with conspiracy to induce aliens to remain in the United States for

commercial advantage and private financial gain. If convicted, they each

face a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison.

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