Champaign Roofer Charged With Immigration Violations

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SPRINGFIELD----The owner of a central Illinois roofing company has been charged on multiple federal immigration violations.

Edwin J. Gire is the owner of Gire Roofing, Inc. and its corporate parent, Grayson Enterprises, Inc., of Champaign. On June 8, a federal grand jury returned a 10-count indictment that charges Gire with visa immigration fraud (four counts); harboring illegal aliens (three counts); and unlawful employment of aliens (three counts).

The indictment also alleges Grayson Enterprises, Inc. in eight of the ten counts, and seeks forfeiture of the Gire Roofing Company, which is located at 309 West Hensley Road in Champaign. The indictment says Gire Roofing is alleged to have been used to facilitate committing the offenses.

Also in the indictment: allegations that in March 2011, August 2011, March 2013, and April 2014, Gire submitted petitions to the U.S. Department of Labor and to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to obtain foreign workers to perform roofing work in Champaign County and Douglas County, Ill. The indictment further alleges that to support the need for workers, Gire submitted contracts that he knew were false with the petitions, causing the State Department to issue H-2B non-immigrant worker visas to more than 150 foreign workers.

 The indictment further alleges that from 2008 to 2014, Gire engaged in a practice and pattern of knowingly hiring unauthorized aliens, and in 2014, harbored those same illegal aliens in Champaign County, Ill., for the purpose of commercial advantage and private financial gain.

 If convicted, each count of visa fraud and harboring illegal aliens carries a penalty of up to ten years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The unlawful employment of aliens charges carry a penalty of up to six months imprisonment and a maximum fine of $3,000 for each unauthorized alien employed. 

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