JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A husband and wife who live in Palm Coast plead guilty of employing “undocumented foreigners” in their restaurants in Palm Coast and Jacksonville.
Ji Qiu and his wife, Gui Yang, who are both Chinese and legal residents of the United States, owned and operated the Red Bowl Restaurant on Bartram Park Boulevard in Jacksonville, the Red Bowl Poké & Hibachi Restaurant on Crosshill Boulevard in Jacksonville, and the Fancy Sushi & Grill Restaurant on East Highway 100 in the Palm Coast.
Qiu pleaded guilty to harboring undocumented foreigners for commercial and personal financial gain and faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison.
Yang pleaded guilty to setting up a trading company to evade US immigration laws and faces a maximum five-year sentence in federal prison.
As part of his plea agreement, Qiu agreed to lose a Palm Coast residence, a 2013 Toyota Sienna van, a 2019 Honda Odyssey van, and a 2020 Honda Odyssey van. A sentencing date has not yet been set.
Qiu and Yang were charged on September 14, 2020.
According to court records, as of early 2019, federal agents saw delivery vans moving people who appeared to be employees between restaurants and homes near the restaurants. Agents recorded videos multiple times, according to a complaint.
Federal agents said some of the workers were legal in the country and some were not. Agents identified several people illegally from Guatemala and the country.
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