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06/01/2009

Car wash CEO pleads guilty to hiring illegal aliens

PHILADELPHIA - Robert Kramer, 56, of Philadelphia, pleaded guilty on June 1 to employing at least 50 illegal aliens, with constructive knowledge that they were not authorized to work in the United States. Kramer was the general counsel of Mace Security International and the Chief Operating Officer of Car Care, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Mace.

Car Care operated more than 50 car washes in six states, including Pennsylvania and New Jersey. According to the information, Car Care hired undocumented workers, gave those workers the names of former employees, and then paid the undocumented workers with checks in the names of the former employees. From as early as 2000 through March 13, 2006, Car Care employed the undocumented workers at car washes under Kramer's supervision in Norristown, Flourtown and Bryn Mawr, Pa., and Cherry Hill, N.J.

Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 15, 2009. Kramer faces a maximum sentence of six months in prison and a fine of $150,000. The case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Judy Goldstein Smith and Scott Cullen.