SCRANTON — The operator of a staffing agency that sent illegal immigrants to work at businesses in the Wilkes-Barre and Scranton areas was sentenced in federal court on Thursday, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced.
Ethan Nguyen, 34, of Phoenixville, Pa., was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Edwin M. Kosik to serve 12 months and one day in prison, two years supervised release, pay a $300 fine and pay $45,128 in restitution to the state Department of Unemployment Insurance.
According to U.S. Attorney Peter J. Smith, beginning in 2007, Nguyen operated Four Seasons Services, a temporary employment agency with offices in Philadelphia. Together with co-defendants Andri Gunawan and Eleni Nguyen, the employment agency contracted with various third-party businesses to provide temporary day-labor employees, the prosecutor said.
The co-defendants would fulfill these contracts by hiring illegal immigrants and paying them cash “under the table,” failing to pay various federal, state and local taxes, fees or compensation insurance, Smith said. In this way, the temporary employment agency was able to greatly increase its profits for providing temporary labor, he said.
Four Seasons Services was later changed to business names Direct Staffing Services (DSS), Express Staffing Services (ESS) and First Choice Staffing (FCS).
Ethan Nguyen, Andri Gunawan and Eleni Nguyen were charged in separate criminal informations. All three pleaded guilty.
Eleni Nguyen is scheduled for sentencing on March 19. Gunawan is scheduled for sentencing on April 4.