WICHITA, Kan. — A central Kansas couple, originally from India and living illegally in the United States, pleaded guilty in federal court Wednesday to unlawfully employing illegal aliens.
These guilty pleas resulted from an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Social Security Administration’s Office of Inspector General (SSA OIG), the Kansas Department of Labor, the Kansas Department of Revenue’s Office of Special Investigations, and the McPherson (Kansas) Police Department.
Satishkumar A. Patel, 47, and Daxaben S. Patel, 36, both of McPherson, Kansas, entered their guilty pleas Sept. 9.
Satishkumar Patel pleaded guilty to engaging in a pattern or practice of employing illegal workers, failure to collect federal income and Social Security taxes, and operating an unlicensed money remitting business. His wife, Daxaben Patel, pleaded guilty to the unlicensed money remitting business charge.
As part of their plea agreements, the Patels agreed to forfeit more than $700,000 in cash, money from bank accounts, and gold seized by the government in this case. Those assets represent proceeds of the Patel’s unlawful activities.
“This is what happens when employers ignore U.S. employment, business and tax laws,” Grissom said. “They face prosecution for their crimes and the loss of assets obtained in connection with those crimes. Contrary to what some may think, it is not legal to employ people not authorized to work in this country, nor is it legal to ignore our business and tax laws.”
This case came about when inspectors from the Kansas Department of Revenue’s Alcohol Beverage Control division observed employees at the Route 56 Express gas station and convenience store in McPherson selling tobacco products to minors. The investigators determined that several employees at Route 56 Express were not lawfully in the United States, nor were they authorized to be employed. Local and federal investigators then assisted, which led to the return of the federal indictments in June.
These charges carry maximum penalties of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The couple’s sentencings are set for Nov. 25. The couple may also face deportation after they complete whatever prison sentence may be imposed.