Created on Wednesday, 08 January 2014 Written by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — The owner of a southwest Ohio roofing company has pleaded guilty to charges of employing immigrants who are in the country illegally, filing false tax documents and insurance fraud.
Gregory Oldiges, 55, could be sentenced from two years to nearly five years in prison after pleading to the federal charges Tuesday in Dayton, authorities said.
Court documents accused Williams Brothers Roofing and Siding of paying human traffickers to bring migrant workers from Texas and paying them less than their regular roofing crews, according to the Dayton Daily News (http://bit.ly/1gDp6fU ).
Oldiges' attorney, Greg Lockhart, called the situation "unfortunate" and said many roofing companies use immigrants who are in the country illegally as laborers.
"There was a level of greed here," U.S. Attorney Vipal Patel said. "Williams Brothers didn't just pay illegal workers....What makes this case rather unique is that you have a plethora of different illegal activities ongoing at the same time."
Patel said the ripples should be felt throughout the roofing industry.
"This has sort of raised the specter, raised a question of what are other companies in the construction business doing in our community," he said. "We want to make sure that everybody's doing it right."
Between 2009 and 2012, the Dayton company invoiced its customers about $11.75 million for work performed by immigrants in the country illegally, according to documents. Williams Brothers paid the workers $1.7 million.
Oldiges also paid for the smuggling of some of the workers and then recouped those costs by withholding money paid to the crews, court documents said.
Oldiges was released on his promise to surrender his passport and return to court April 8.