A Jacksonville, Florida brother and sister have been sentenced for their role in a scheme to illegally employ undocumented immigrants in construction work. Their scheme involved avoiding millions of dollars in workers’ compensation insurance and payroll tax.
Fanny Melina Zelaya-Mendez, age 39, and Roger Omar Zelaya-Mendez, age 34, ran various shell companies which provided workers to contractors and subcontractors. They used these companies to hire and pay hundreds of undocumented immigrants. Since the contractors and subcontractors paid the workers through these shell companies, they were therefore able to avoid being responsible for making sure that the workers were authorized to work in the country, that the workers had workers’ compensation insurance coverage, and that the appropriate payroll taxes were being paid.