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Financial Crimes
09/04/2009

Owner of Annapolis Painting Services sentenced for money laundering and hiring illegal aliens

Owner also ordered to forfeit property worth more than $1 million

BALTIMORE - U.S. District Judge Williams D. Quarles, Jr. sentenced Robert T. Bontempo, Jr., 47, of Annapolis, Md., today to six months confinement in a halfway house as part of three years probation for hiring illegal aliens to work in his painting business and money laundering, announced U. S. Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein.  Judge Quarles had previously entered a preliminary order of forfeiture requiring Bontempo to forfeit five bank accounts, 10 vehicles, including a Porsche Cayenne truck, and seven properties bought or paid for with the proceeds from the operations of his painting business, estimated to be worth more than $1 million.

"Companies who knowingly hire illegal aliens are not only breaking the law, they are also creating a magnet that draws foreign nationals to enter the United States illegally,"  said William Winter, special agent in charge of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Investigations in Baltimore. "ICE will continue to investigate companies who engage in these illegal employment schemes and target the profits that motivate them."

"Money laundering constitutes a serious threat to our communities and to the integrity of our financial system," stated C. André Martin, IRS Criminal Investigation special agent in charge. "IRS-Criminal Investigation has the financial investigators and expertise that is critical to locating the money and prosecuting the offenders."

From 2003 through 2006, Bontempo, the owner and operator of Tempo Inc., a corporation doing business as Annapolis Painting Services (APS), knowingly hired and employed a significant number - up to 24 at certain times - of individuals who were illegally present in the United States and not authorized to work in the country.

Bontempo provided leased accommodations for some of his illegal workers in one of the several rental units he and his wife owned.  APS workers transported some of the illegal aliens to and from their residences to worksites in company vehicles.  Bontempo paid these illegal alien workers in cash until sometime in 2005, when the workers began to be paid by check.

Bontempo used the proceeds from the operations of APS, which were derived in part as a result of his hiring illegal aliens, to pay for a variety of business expenses and to pay himself a salary that was in turn used to pay for the mortgage and operational costs of real estate holdings.

U. S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked ICE, the IRS and the Anne Arundel County Police Department for their investigative work. Rosenstein also commended Assistant U. S. Attorney Michael Cunningham who is prosecuting the case.