Richard Rosenbaum, former president of RCI Inc., pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan, to multiple counts of harboring illegal immigrants, tax evasion and fraud. Rosenbaum owes $16 million in restitution to the federal government and must forfeit more than $1.1 million in personal assets. He faces up to 10 years in federal prison.
RCI, a cleaning and grounds maintenance service headquartered in Florida, contracted with theme restaurant chains and resorts throughout the United States, including the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa in Acme. RCI reportedly was staffed almost entirely by illegal immigrants and failed to pay $18.6 million in employment taxes.
“You might ask, ‘Is this a case about criminal employers or criminals who are employers?’” said Brian Moskowitz, special agent with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office of Investigations for Michigan. “The reality of this case is that they are one and the same.”
Final note: The federal courts are still sorting out what your legal obligations are for verifying worker eligibility. Meanwhile, make sure you have proper documentation on all employees. For specific guidance, visit the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services web site at www.uscis.gov, and click on “Employer information.”