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12/06/2012

Pennsylvania woman pleads guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud

SCRANTON, Pa. – Following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), a Pennsylvania woman pleaded guilty Thursday to conspiracy to commit mail fraud.

Eleni Nguyen, 29, of Phoenixville, Pa., pleaded guilty in federal court to the charge in connection with filing false documents with the Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation program. Nguyen is the third person charged in a scheme involving a temporary employment agency hiring illegal alien employees. Nguyen is the owner of the employment agency.

Andri Gunawan, a representative for the company, previously entered guilty pleas to various crimes, including conspiracy to transport illegal aliens, harboring illegal aliens and mail fraud. Both Gunawan and Nguyen are awaiting sentencing.

As part of the scheme, members of the employment agency contracted with various third party businesses to provide temporary employees. The conspirators would fulfill these contracts by hiring illegal aliens and paying them in cash "under the table," failing to pay various federal, state and local taxes, fees or compensation insurance. Using this scheme, the temporary employment agency was able to maximize its profits.

At sentencing, Nguyen faces a maximum of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

The U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General, Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations, the Pennsylvania State Police and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services assisted in the investigation.