CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WICS/WCCU) -- The owner of Gire Roofing, Inc. in Champaign was sentenced to three years behind bars.
Edwin Gire, 47, was convicted in January 2018 of four counts of visa fraud and three counts of harboring illegal aliens. He had previous entered pleas of guilty to three misdemeanor counts of unlawful employment of aliens.
Gire was sentenced to three years, ordered to pay a fine of $30,000, and to remain on supervised release for two years following his release from prison.
Grayson Enterprises, Inc., Gire Roofing’s parent company, was sentenced to three years probation and ordered to pay a $250,000 fine.
"The court found that as a result of the fraud, more than 100 fraudulent H-2B worker visas were issued to Gire Roofing from 2011 to 2014.
At trial, the court found that undisputed evidence proved that Gire knew or recklessly disregarded the fact that illegal aliens were allowed to live in a building owned by his company. Gire did this to make the aliens’ employment as roofers for Grayson Enterprises attractive despite the fact that Grayson Enterprises was paying them less than the applicable prevailing wage. By giving the aliens a place to live, the court found that Gire safeguarded the aliens from the authorities by making it more difficult for authorities to locate them."