St. Louis, MO (KSDK) - A Byrnes Mill man pleaded guilty Monday to fraud charges involving his employing illegal immigrants to support his landscaping business, U.S. Robert Callahan said.
According to court documents, between March 2007 and February 2010, Robert Brake and his company, identified as Brake Landscaping & Lawncare, illegally sub-contracted H-2B workers on a weekly basis at a profit of more than $2 an hour per worker.
The indictment also alleged that Brake incorporated Brake Snow and Ice Removal to facilitate year-round employment of temporary H-2B visa workers that didn't actually exist. The snow and ice removal company was the same company as the landscaping business.
Brake, 33, pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor charge of employing illegal aliens. The landscaping company pleaded guilty to one felony count to commit visa fraud.
Robert Brake faces six months in prison on the misdemeanor charge and five years on the felony charge. He's scheduled to be sentenced on September 13, 2012.
The H-2B non-immigrant visa program permits employers to hire foreign workers and perform temporary, non-agricultural services on a one-time, seasonal, peak-load or intermittent basis. There is a set limit on the number of foreign workers who may receive H-2B visa status during each government fiscal year.