Business owner sentenced to prison for failing to pay employees

Posted: Friday, April 20, 2001

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- An Anchorage businessman was sentenced Thursday to 30 months in prison for hiring undocumented workers and then failing to pay them.

At the sentencing in federal court, Eduardo Delgado was also ordered to pay nearly $225,000 in restitution for back wages to 29 former employees. Delgado is the owner of two companies, ''Alaska's Finest Paintings'' and ''International Painting and Drywall Incorporated.''

Federal prosecutors said the sentencing followed Delgado's conviction of accepting counterfeit immigration documents, harboring illegal aliens, encouraging aliens to illegally remain in the United States and tampering with a witness. Prosecutors said Delgado pleaded guilty to the charges as part of a sentencing agreement.

Delgado had reportedly told his illegal workers that if they were caught by the Immigration and Naturalization Service, they should lie and say it was their first day working for him. Prosecutors said other workers witnessed Delgado threaten an employee if he reported Delgado to authorities.

Prosecutors also said that Delgado consistently failed to pay overtime wages. He reportedly told workers that legal workers would be paid first if he was short of funds.

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