The operators of a sheet metal fabrication company are facing felony charges for allegedly harboring and hiring illegal aliens at their facility in northwest suburban Streamwood, a town 35 miles west of Chicago.
Dora Kuzelka, 81; Kenneth Kuzelka, 62; Kari Kuzelka, 56; and Keith Kuzelka, 58, are all charged with one count of knowingly harboring an illegal alien and one count of knowingly engaging in a pattern or practice of hiring illegal aliens, the U.S. Attorney’s office said. The Kuzelkas, from Elgin, all hold executive management positions at KSO MetalFab Inc., with the exception of Keith Kuzelka, who left the company last year and lives in Chicago.
According to the complaint, HSI's Chicago office carried out a civil audit of KSO MetalFab in 2017 and determined that three-dozen of the company's 67 employees were suspected of using fraudulent work authorization documents to verify their eligibility for employment. HSI served the company with a written notice of the suspected violations, but the company responded by claiming it had let go of the 36 the identified employees, according to the release.
The complaint also said KSO MetalFab later re-hired at least 18 of the previously terminated workers through a staffing agency, according to the release, adding that the charges accuse KSO MetalFab of instructing the workers to go to the staffing agency so that they could return to the company after the audit. Many of the workers used the same names that they previously used before the audit, the complaint said, according to the release.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Sheila Finnegan scheduled status hearings for the Kuzelkas on Oct. 29, according to the release.
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Updated: Tue, Nov 5th 2019 @ 5:20pm EST