Illegal Immigrant Charges Against Home Builder Dropped
A federal judge dismissed all charges against five employees of Fischer Homes, based in Crestview Hills, Ky., for knowingly allowing illegal immigrants to work on their job sites.
Federal agents raided several of the company’s work sites in May and subsequently indicted five Fischer Homes supervisors, charging them with conspiring to harbor illegal aliens.
The charges were dropped on Nov. 14, just two weeks before the case was to go to court, when U.S. District Court Judge David Bunning refused the government's request to delay the trial after Nelson Trejo, a key witness, went missing. The charges could be reinstated if Trejo is located.
The government's case centered on whether the Fischer Homes supervisors should be held responsible for the actions of subcontractors — Trejo Brothers Construction and Robert Pratt. It was alleged that Trejo supplied illegal workers to Pratt, one of 30 companies that provided framing services to Fischer Homes.
Fischer Homes notes that Pratt's company, like each of the more than 450 independent companies with whom Fischer Homes does business, signed a comprehensive contract that warrants and represents that it would only use workers eligible to work in the U.S.
After the district court dismissed the charges, Henry Fischer, CEO of Fischer Homes, issued the following statement: "Fischer Homes is pleased with the government's decision to dismiss all charges against its five associates. Yesterday was a great day for them and their families. From the onset, our associates maintained their innocence and Fischer Homes fully supported their decision to prove their innocence at trial.”
“When the case was brought against our associates, our nation was entrenched in a national immigration debate,” Fischer continued. “I firmly believe that our company unfairly fell victim to this political debate. I am confident that Fischer Homes has in the past and will in the future continue to operate with the highest legal and ethical standards. It is our hope that this ordeal is finally behind us and we can now focus on our core mission of satisfying our customers and building great homes.”
For more information, e-mail David Crump, director of legal research at NAHB, or call him at 800-368-5242 x8491.