DAYTON, Ohio – The owner of a Dayton roofing company pleaded guilty Thursday to conspiring to bring illegal aliens to work for his roofing company, and to conspiring to commit wire fraud by sending fraudulent invoices to insurance companies for work by his company. The guilty plea follows an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Criminal Investigation Division.
According to court documents, between 2004 and 2013, Gregory J. Oldiges, 55, through his company, Williams Brothers Roofing and Siding, entered into at least 39 purported subcontracts with illegal aliens to perform roofing services in the Dayton area. Oldiges, as well as other Williams Brothers’ employees, knew many of these illegal aliens used aliases or false names when entering into these subcontracts.
In several instances, Williams Brothers’ employees – with Oldiges’ knowledge – provided the illegal aliens with false names to use on the subcontracts, as well as other fraudulent documentation prepared by the company, including false IRS 1099 forms bearing fake names and Social Security numbers. Oldiges, at certain times, directed employees to prepare the necessary fraudulent documentation, including the subcontracting agreements and IRS Forms, in order for the company to write off the illegal aliens’ labor costs on the company’s corporate tax returns.
Between 2009 and 2012, Williams Brothers invoiced its customers approximately $11.75 million for roofing work performed by its illegal workforce, for which Williams Brothers paid the illegal workers approximately $1.7 million.
Oldiges also financed the smuggling of some of the illegal workers into the United States. For instance, Oldiges directed a company employee on at least two occasions to go to Texas to give thousands of dollars in cash to an illegal alien subcontractor and to drive the workers back to Dayton, knowing that the money would ultimately be paid to human smugglers or "coyotes" to bring the illegal alien subcontractor and his crew across the border from Mexico into Texas. Oldiges recouped the cost of the smuggling fees by withholding a portion of the amount Williams Brothers paid the illegal alien subcontractor for work performed on roofing contracts.
Oldiges also pleaded guilty for his involvement in a scheme to defraud insurance providers on roofing jobs by faxing or emailing "dummy" or "duplicate" invoices to insurance companies that reflected inflated invoice amounts over and above the amount the company actually charged its customers. Between approximately November 2010 and December 2012, Oldiges knowingly submitted or caused at least 80 fraudulent invoices to be submitted various insurance companies totaling nearly $1.37 million when the actual amount that Williams Brothers charged its customers for this work was approximately $1.24 million.
"The schemes perpetuated by this defendant were pervasive, touching nearly every aspect of the business. These unscrupulous tactics clearly gave his company an unfair advantage over competitors," said Marlon Miller, special agent in charge for HSI Detroit, which covers Michigan and Ohio "When companies engage in these types of schemes, workers are often exploited and businesses that play by the rules simply cannot compete."
"This case shows that the appearance of success can be a mask for a tangled financial web of lies," said Kathy A. Enstrom, special agent in charge, of the IRS Criminal Investigation Division in Cincinnati. "Honest and law abiding citizens are fed up with the likes of those who use deceit and fraud to line their pockets with other people’s money."
The plea agreement includes a sentencing range between 24 and 57 months imprisonment, restitution in an amount to be determined by the court, and forfeiture of real estate, deposit and investment accounts containing nearly $2 million and a vehicle.
Oldiges will be sentenced April 8. A Williams Roofing employee, Jim Honius, pleaded guilty on Dec. 19 to one count of wire fraud for his role in the insurance fraud scheme. He is scheduled to be sentenced the same day.