Two Florida restaurant owners have pleaded guilty to harboring undocumented aliens for commercial advantage and private financial gain.
Ge Tang, 41, St. Augustine, and Yanshen Huang, 36, St. Johns each faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison.
As part of their plea agreements, Tang and Huang have agreed to forfeit to the United States a residence in St. Augustine and a residence in St. Johns, which were used to house undocumented aliens, along with a 2021 Toyota Sienna van that was used to transport the aliens between the residences and the restaurants and $35,720 in cash.
Their sentencing hearings have been scheduled for January 24, 2023.
According to their plea agreements, Tang and Huang owned and operated Tanks Sushi Bistro Seafood & Steaks in St. Augustine and Tanks Sushi Bistro in Ponte Vedra.
At the restaurants, they employed aliens who were unlawfully present in the United States and who were not legally authorized to work in the United States.
Contrary to federal law, Tang and Huang did not require the workers to provide documents to establish that they could legally work in the United States.
Tang and Huang also owned two residences, each of which was near one of the restaurants, at which they provided housing to the undocumented workers. They also provided the workers with transportation between the houses and the restaurants at the beginning and end of each workday.
Tang and Huang paid the workers in cash, did not withhold taxes and other payments from the workers’ wages, and did not pay the employer’s portion of these taxes to government authorities.
According to court documents, they also did not report the workers to state revenue authorities as required under Florida law to ensure the collection of the proper amount of unemployment compensation tax.