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10/19/2014

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Chinese restaurant owner in Kansas pleads guilty to harboring illegal workers

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — The owner of two Chinese restaurants in the Kansas City area pleaded guilty Monday to conspiring to employ and harbor illegal alien workers, announced U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom, District of Kansas.

Three other defendants also pleaded guilty to federal charges.

This guilty plea resulted from an investigation conducted by the following agencies: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Kansas Department of Labor, and the Missouri Department of Labor.

Wei Liu, 41, of Olathe, Kansas, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to harbor illegal aliens for private financial gain. Liu is owner of Wei’s Super Buffet on South Strang Line Road in Olathe and Wei’s Super Buffet No. 2 on Wornall Road in Kansas City, Missouri.

Xiang Liu, 36, of Olathe, pleaded guilty to one count of making a false statement to HSI special agents. She is Wei Liu’s wife and helped manage the businesses.

Huiqing Liu, 25, of Olathe, pleaded guilty to one count of aiding and abetting wire fraud. She is Wei Liu’s sister.

Bin Liu, 40, pleaded guilty to making a false statement to HSI special agents. He lived at Wei Liu’s residence in Olathe.

A fifth defendant, Huiming Liu, 43, was sentenced Monday to time served, which was about 10 months. She pleaded guilty to one count of failing to depart from the United States after being ordered to do so. She is Wei Liu’s sister.

In his plea, Wei Liu admitted to employing at least 12 illegal aliens at his two restaurants. He paid them in cash and provided housing for them without charging them for the housing.

The defendants, who will be scheduled for sentencing at a later date, face the following penalties:

  • Wei Liu faces a maximum of 10 years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000;
  • Xiang Liu faces a maximum of five years and a fine up to $250,000;
  • Huiqing Liu faces a maximum of 20 years and a fine up to $250,000; and
  • Bin Liu faces a maximum of five years and a fine up to $250,000.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott Rask, District of Kansas, is prosecuting this case.

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Last Reviewed/Updated: 10/22/2014