Quarryville Business Owner Indicted for Operating Undocumented Worker Conspiracy and Extensive Tax Fraud
Acting United States Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams announced that Pennsylvania residents, Miguel Morales, 48, of Quarryville, Jose Morales, 39, of Quarryville, Oscar Carrillo-Perez, 35, of West Grove, and Santiago Garcia-Ramirez, 44, of Landenberg, were arrested and indicted. Morales was indicted for conspiring to transport and transporting undocumented workers and for making false statements. Morales and Urena were charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States and failure to collect and pay employment taxes.
Quarryville Business Owner Indicted
Miguel Morales, the business owner of Morales Contractor based in Quarryville, acted as a contractor and provided labor force to many mushroom farms in Chester County. The labor force that Morales provided to many independently-operated farms were undocumented workers. Further, Morales facilitated some of these undocumented workers staying in about ten of the housing facilities that he owned by providing transportation to and from the farms, charging the workers for transportation and housing.
Miguel Morales, Carrillo-Perez, Garcia-Ramirez, and Jose Morales conspired to transport the undocumented workers who were illegally present in the United States. The indictment further stated that Morales hired workers regardless of their immigration status, did not file Form W-2 Wage and Tax Statements, and failed to collect and pay over to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) employment taxes for his business.
The second indictment alleged that Miguel Morales and Lawrence Urena conspired to obstruct the IRS from the legal assessment and collection of unemployment taxes. Urena operated Urena Accounting, which ran the payroll for Morales’s business and handled all the accounts. For the calendar year of 2020, Morales paid $3,644,142 in wages to employees, typically at the rate of $10 per hour. Morales had to pay IRS approximately $921,968 in employment taxes. However, from 2015 to 2018, Morales paid the IRS only a fraction of what he owned, resulting in a tax loss of approximately $2 million.
Operating Undocumented Worker Conspiracy and Extensive Tax Fraud
This investigation was conducted by IRS Criminal Investigation, Homeland Security Investigations, Department of Labor Office of Inspector General, and Chester County Detective Division. The case is being prosecuted by Attorney Karen Grisby.
“According to the Indictment, Miguel Morales and the other defendants knew they were employing undocumented workers as part of a years-long scheme to avoid paying their fair share of taxes to the United States,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Williams. “This case is about exploiting those less fortunate out of sheer greed. This type of fraud will not be tolerated in this District, and these defendants will now have to answer to these charges.”
All the defendants could face the following possible sentences if they are convicted:
- Morales – a maximum possible sentence of 250 years in prison with an $8,750,000 fine
- Urena – a maximum possible sentence of five years in prison with a $250,000 fine
- Carrillo-Perez – a maximum possible sentence of 65 years in prison with a $1,750,000 fine
- Garcia-Ramirez – a maximum possible sentence of 85 years in prison with a $2,250,000 fine
- Morales – a maximum possible sentence of 15 years of imprisonment with a fine of $500,000 and a period of supervised release of three years