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11/11/2010

Arkansas restaurant owner sentenced for harboring and concealing illegal aliens

HARRISON, Ark. - Sen Chen, 46, of Mountain Home, Ark., was sentenced Wednesday to five years probation, including six months of home detention, a $5000 fine, and $100 special assessment, after pleading guilty to harboring and concealing illegal aliens, following an investigation conducted by special agents with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Chen admitted in his plea agreement before Chief U.S. District Judge Jimm Larry Hendren that he provided transportation, housing, food and cash money to illegal aliens in exchange for their labor at his restaurant, Chen's Gardens Restaurant.

Chen also agreed to the forfeiture of the business property to the United States, valued at approximately $100,000, a residence valued at approximately $115,000, and a 2007 Ford passenger van.

"This case serves as a stern reminder about the consequences facing employers who exploit illegal alien labor and violate our nation's laws," said Raymond R. Parmer Jr., special agent in charge of ICE HSI in New Orleans. "Businesses that use illegal alien workers to gain an economic advantage over their competition must understand they may pay a price for those unlawful practices."

The government was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kyle Waters.