CHICAGO — A former executive vice president of a Chicago staffing company was sentenced today in federal court for assisting a factory owner with the hiring of undocumented workers.
SERGIO BADANI used his role as Vice President of Operations for a large Chicago staffing company to knowingly conceal from the U.S. government the true identities of 17 undocumented workers. The workers had previously been identified by law enforcement as undocumented during a civil audit of the factory. After the factory owners assured the government that the undocumented workers were terminated, the factory owners worked with Badani to hire them back using false identity documents. Badani admitted that he learned of the illegal scheme and assisted in concealing the information from the government while his staffing company continued to collect more than $1 million in fees from the factory owners. Badani admitted that he received a portion of the profit from this contract in the form of monetary bonuses.
Badani, 51, of St. Charles, Ill., pleaded guilty last year to one count of conspiracy to commit alien harboring for purposes of commercial advantage. U.S. District Judge Sara L. Ellis sentenced Badani to two years’ probation and fined him $15,000.
The sentence was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; and R. Sean Fitzgerald, Acting Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago office of U.S. Homeland Security Investigations. The U.S. Department of Labor and U.S. Social Security Administration provided valuable assistance.
“Undocumented workers are at a significant disadvantage in the workplace, making them much more likely to be exploited by employers,” Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christopher V. Parente and Ashley A. Chung argued in the government’s sentencing memorandum.
“When businesses knowingly hire an illegal workforce, it threatens the integrity of our country’s immigration system, economic health and puts the security of our homeland at risk,” said HSI Acting SAC Fitzgerald. “HSI is committed to protecting our communities from the abuses of corrupt business owners seeking to gain an illegal advantage and make a steep profit off the backs of others.”
Four employees of the staffing agency’s manufacturing client, KSO MetalFab Inc. of Streamwood, Ill., were previously charged in federal court with knowingly hiring and harboring undocumented workers. They pleaded not guilty and are awaiting trial.