JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Ying Lin, 34, of Jacksonville, was arrested Friday by special agents with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) on charges of harboring illegal aliens for commercial advantage or private financial gain. If convicted, Lin faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison.
"Employers who knowingly hire an illegal workforce encourage illegal immigration, take jobs away from legal workers and gain an unfair advantage over their competitors. ICE uses criminal and civil tools to penalize employers who knowingly violate the law and to deter employers tempted to do so," said Susan McCormick, special agent in charge of ICE HSI in Tampa, who oversees operations in Jacksonville. "This case should be a reminder about the consequences facing employers who exploit illegal alien labor and violate our nation's laws: No employer, regardless of size, industry, or location is above the law."
During a detention hearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas E. Morris, Lin was ordered detained without bond. A status hearing is scheduled for Dec. 22 at 2:30pm.
The complaint alleges that Lin, also known as Johnny Lin, was the manager of a Jacksonville restaurant called Sushi Café on Riverside Avenue. The complaint further alleges that from April 2009 to December 2010, Lin paid the rent and utilities for at least two apartments where four illegal alien employees of Sushi Café were found to be residing on Friday.
The complaint alleges that the illegal alien employees did not fill out required employment authorization forms or present any papers to Lin or the Sushi Café when hired to work at the restaurant.
This case was investigated by the Jacksonville ICE HSI office.
It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Dale R. Campion.