Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Factory owner pleads guilty in immigration case

The Associated Press
Monday, November 3, 2008; 8:12 PM

BOSTON -- The president of a New Bedford leather-goods factory that was raided last year by immigration agents has pleaded guilty to harboring and concealing illegal immigrants.

Francesco Insolia, the owner of Michael Bianco Inc., was charged with conspiring to induce illegal immigrants to live in the United States and conspiring to hire illegal immigrants. However, as part of a plea deal, Insolia agreed Monday to plead guilty to a single charge of harboring and concealing immigrants.

Michael Bianco Inc., a manufacturer that was awarded almost $230 million in contracts, also pleaded guilty Monday to 18 specific counts of knowingly hiring illegal immigrants between early 2004 and late 2006. The company has agreed to pay a fine of about $1.5 million and pay around $460,000 in restitution for overtime owed to employees.

Insolia faces a year to 18 months in prison for his guilty plea and has agreed to pay a fine of $30,000

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