Mid-state Japanese restaurant owners and operators accused of plots to house undocumented workers | USAO-MDTN

Nashville – US Attorney Mark Wildassen announced a nine-count federal indictment, unveiled today, charging four individuals with conspiracy to harbor undocumented workers while employed to work at various restaurants in the middle of the state, harboring undocumented workers, and conspiracy to commit money laundering. Central region of Tennessee. The indictment also charges these individuals and another person with conspiring to defraud the United States by failing to collect and pay business taxes to the IRS.

The defendants in the indictment are: Zhongzhi “Tommy” Zhuo, 46, Jianping “Alan” Zhuo, 37, Xiaofen “Joyce” Zhuo, 38, all of Hendersonville, Tennessee; and Jianhua “Jason” Zhou, 35, and Lily Wu, 32, both from Gallatin, Tennessee.

The indictment alleges that Zhongzhi, Jianping, and Jianhua Zhuo, along with Lily Wu, as owners or operators of several Central Tennessee restaurants, participated in a scheme to house people who were illegally in the United States, by providing a means of financial support. Through employment in restaurants and provision of housing and transportation for them. Restaurants identified in the indictment include Fuji Japanese Steakhouse, with locations in Hendersonville, Goodlettsville, and Whitehouse, Tennessee; Bonfire Mongolian Grill, with locations in Hendersonville, Clarksville, Mount Juliet, and Spring Hill, Tennessee; and Koi Japanese Steakhouse in Gallatin, Tennessee.

The indictment also alleges that residential real estate owned or leased by one or more defendants has been used to house undocumented workers, including properties in Hendersonville, Gallatin, Goodlettsville, Clarksville, Mount Juliet, and Spring Hill.

Other allegations in the indictment include that these defendants communicated and paid a broker to find undocumented workers and hand them over to work in restaurants; Employing undocumented workers without requiring them to complete applications or collect any documents to determine the worker’s immigration status and work permit; accommodation of unregistered workers in dormitories; transfer of unregistered workers between residences and restaurants; It maintains separate books for accounting for payments to undocumented workers that are made outside the normal payroll system.

The allegations also include that these defendants, along with Xiaofen “Joyce” Zhuo, conspired to defraud the United States by paying undocumented workers in cash; fails to withhold and pay employment taxes to the IRS; It refused to allow undocumented workers to pay taxes, including those with individual taxpayer identification numbers. These defendants also conspired to underpay the tax preparation firms that prepared tax forms and submitted them to the IRS.

The indictment also contains a forfeiture allegation in which the United States seeks to seize four residences implicated in the commission of the crimes, bank accounts, and a financial judgment representing the amount of proceeds of crime.

The maximum penalty for these charges is up to 5-20 years in prison, if convicted.

This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations; IRS-Criminal Investigation; Tennessee Bureau of Investigation; and Hendersonville Police Department. Assistant US Attorney Robert S. Levine and Thomas J. Jaworsky is suing the case.

The indictment is just an accusation. All defendants are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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