Thursday, June 5, 2008

Foremen for labor contractor charged with Social Security fraud (Union-Tribune)

Foremen for labor contractor charged with Social Security fraud

Leslie Berestein
7:03 p.m. June 5, 2008

EL CENTRO – Two foremen for an Imperial Valley farm labor contractor were charged in federal court Thursday with fraudulently misusing Social Security numbers in order to employ undocumented workers.

Carlos Ramos Galdamez, 49, and Jouanni Francisco Perez Tinoco, 31, both employees of Boss 4 Packing in Heber, were arrested Wednesday. Ramos, a legal U.S. resident from El Salvador, was arrested near his home in Brawley; Perez, an undocumented immigrant from Honduras, was arrested while working in the fields.

In addition, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents arrested 32 undocumented workers on administrative immigration violations at various locations in the Brawley area. One worker was underage and turned over to relatives; of the others, 12 are being held as material witnesses in an ongoing criminal investigation, and the rest were repatriated.

The two foremen face felony charges. It is the second time in less than a month that a company foreman has run afoul of the law. On May 9, foreman Francisco Zapot Palacios was arrested at his home and later indicted on charges of harboring illegal immigrants.

Thursday, an employee who answered the phone at Boss 4 Packing said the company has retained an attorney, but is not commenting on the investigation.

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