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Local Restaurant Owners Plead Guilty to Harboring Illegal Immigrants

by on September 14, 2015 12:00 PM

The eight members of the so-called Jiang Organization, which allegedly brought illegal immigrants to work at State College restaurants, have filed guilty pleas.

According to court documents, the eight individuals accused of harboring aliens at their local eateries reached plea agreements in July.

Four of the defendants officially entered their guilty pleas last month, with the other four following suit on Friday.

Jing Mei Jiang, the eponym of the Jiang Organization and owner of Fuji and Jade Garden, pled guilty to felony charges of bringing in and harboring illegal aliens and wire fraud.

Jiang, 51 of Boalsburg, handled the finances for the group of local restaurant owners, which used an employment agency based out of New York City to draw Asian and Hispanic workers to central Pennsylvania.

The other defendants include Yu Mei Chen, Jian Bin Chen, Xin Xing Jiang (owner of My Thai), Yan Jin Jiang (owner of Hundred Degrees Hot Pot), Yongcheng Chen (owner of China Dragon), Xue Jiang (owner of Chen's Buffet), and Hua Zhen Dong (owner of Penang Asian Fusion).

Those defendants only faced the felony charge of harboring aliens, as Jiang allegedly handled the finances -- which constituted a felony wire fraud charge -- on his own as the ringleader of the organization. The workers hired by the restaurants were allegedly paid in cash under minimum wage.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Immigrations and Customs Enforcement office conducted a raid on these restaurants along with local police in June of 2014.

The government has reportedly recovered nearly $22,000 in cash from China Dragon and over $43,000 in cash from a defendants’ home on Limerock Terrace.



Zach Berger is the managing editor of StateCollege.com. He graduated from Penn State University in 2014 with a degree in print journalism. Zach enjoys writing about a variety of topics ranging from football to government, music, and everything in between.
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