By Bruce Buchanan, Siskind Susser


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A federal grand jury returned an indictment charging four Akron residents with conspiracy and harboring undocumented workers for their restaurant in Akron, Ohio. Chau Fang Lam, Rui Xu, Xin Hsu, and Zhou Qiang Zou owned and operated the Royal Buffet and Grill restaurant in Akron. They conspired to harbor and harbored at least 10 undocumented workers for the purpose of commercial advantage and private financial gain. According to the indictment, the conspiracy included employing the undocumented workers at the Royal Buffet and Grill, where they worked for below minimum wage or only for tips. The defendants also housed the undocumented workers at one of their residences in Akron and transported them to and from the Royal Buffet and Grill as part of the conspiracy. At one time, Lam, Xu, Hsu, and Zou housed as many as 14 undocumented workers inside a single-family resident, according to the indictment. This indictment shows owners and managers of companies are subject to criminal liability for immigration-related violations. If convicted, each of the defendants will be facing jail time, a criminal fine and/or forfeiture of assets.