Feds seize home in illegal worker probe

Half-million home bought by owner of Dayton roofing company seized by federal prosecutor

The federal government is seizing bank accounts worth nearly $2 million and a half-million dollar home from the owner of a longtime Dayton roofing company accused by federal officials of using illegal workers, falsifying documents and money laundering.

According to allegations in a federal civil lawsuit, Williams Brothers Roofing and Siding Co., Inc. and its owner Greg Oldiges are accused of transporting and using illegal immigrants to generate millions of dollars of profits and money laundering. The suit was filed April 15 in Dayton’s Southern Ohio District Court. No criminal charges have been filed.

The criminal investigation is ongoing and involves “officers, employees and other individuals associated with” Williams Brothers. United States Attorney Pamela Stanek said any civil forfeiture is based on criminal violations, but that investigation could take several weeks. She added that civil forfeitures often come before criminal indictments in these type of cases.

No answer to the lawsuit from Oldiges has been filed in court. Neither Oldiges nor his attorney returned messages seeking comment. A woman who answered the business’ phone Tuesday afternoon said, “No comment” and hung up the phone when called by the Dayton Daily News.

An affidavit written by a Homeland Security agent investigating immigration-related crimes is part of a federal civil action calling for forfeiture of a four-bedroom, 3 1/2-bathroom, 5,530 square foot Beavercreek house near the Narrows Reserve. The court document said both the house and a seized new pickup truck were purchased with cash by Oldiges and his wife, Linda.

The probable cause seizure warrant alleges a Williams Brothers company-wide conspiracy to find, transport, harbor, conceal and pay for undocumented workers. Oldiges also allegedly has employed an illegal worker to clean and maintain his residence since 2000.

Among other allegations is that Williams Brothers, founded in 1937, made between $3 million to $4.5 million in 2012 while paying one illegal worker $1 per hour to pick up nails at job sites after he recovered from falling off a roof.

The affidavit shows factors to prove probable cause that many unlawful activities took place, including: bringing and harboring illegal aliens; unlawful employment of illegal aliens; identity fraud; identity theft; fraud in connection with access devices; laundering of monetary instruments; transactions of property derived from specific unlawful activity; and conspiracy.

Information on the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) website say those convicted of harboring and conspiracy to harbor illegal aliens can be punished by up to five years in federal prison and fines of up to $250,000. Money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering can lead to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $250,000.

The document said Oldiges, who turns 55 on Thursday, bought out partner Martin Williams’ shares in 2006. It further alleges Williams Brothers has been using illegal aliens for about 10 years. During busy roofing seasons, the company employed 20 people plus eight contractors, some of whom were illegal aliens. Some of them supervised teams of 8-10 other illegal workers.

According the affidavit, some of those contractors are accused of transporting other illegal aliens from Mexico, one of whom was apprehended five times for entering the U.S. illegally. Another contractor allegedly was instructed by Oldiges to create fictitious Social Security Numbers for undocumented workers, court records show. The document said Oldiges in 2007-08 paid a contractor to fly to Houston and meet another subcontractor and group of illegal aliens, for each of whom the fee was $1,000.

Williams Brothers has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.

In a Dayton Daily News story about Oldiges from six years ago, Oldiges said: “I can sleep at night knowing my customer’s investment is protected — they’re getting skilled craftsmen working on their houses.”

Oldiges, a 1976 Belmont High School graduate, also said he hires professional roofers, not what he called shingle nailers: “It’s like the difference between Tee-Ball and Major League Baseball.”

The document said that in 2012, Green Velvet SOD Farms contracted Williams Brothers for a job, but said it did not want illegal aliens working on the project, so Oldiges replaced the workers with a “legal crew.”

The affidavit said that after one illegal worker was injured in April 2012, Oldiges and another employee instructed a worker to get to the job site, take the man to the nearest hospital and make sure the worker did not identify his employer. The man told the hospital he was injured falling off a bicycle. The document alleges he later was paid $1 per hour to pick up nails at job sites.

The affidavit said Williams Brothers profits averaged $300,000 from 2000 to 2009. Those profits rose to $1 million in 2010, $1.5 million in 2011 to more than $3.5 million in 2012. Of that money, 65 percent of it was from jobs completed by illegal workers, the document said.

The affidavit said the Oldiges live on Andrew Road in Dayton and that they bought the 354 Narrows Trace property in August 2012 for $484,500 in cash.

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