A Kentucky couple has been convicted of harboring undocumented immigrants at their home and as workers for their restaurants, prosecutors announced in a Jan. 14 release.
After a three-day trial and four-hour deliberation, a jury found the couple guilty of four counts of “concealing, harboring, or shielding a person, whom the defendants knew to be present in the United States illegally, for commercial advantage and private financial gain,” the release said.
Yun Zheng, also known as Wendy, 50, and Yan Qui Wu, also known as Jason, 48, owned the Tokyo Dragon Buffet restaurant in Alexandria, Ky., from 2014 to 2017, and hired at least four undocumented workers, the release said.
Lawyers for the couple did not immediately respond to a request for comment from McClatchy News.
In order to hide the undocumented immigrants, the husband and wife let the workers live at their home and use their cars for work, according to the release.
This scheme came to a head when one worker was badly hurt from hot oil while working at the restaurant, the release said. The couple refused to take him to seek medical treatment because, . one of the defendants said, the worker would be deported if taken to the hospital
However, the worker got treatment for the injury days later, and a concerned nurse called law enforcement after hearing his story, prosecutors said in the release.
This kickstarted the investigation and led to the couple’s indictment in September 2021.
The couple, who are set for a May 4 sentencing, face up to 10 years in prison.
According to court documents, the couple will be required to forfeit their Alexandria home and vehicles used in concealing the undocumented workers, as well as any profits gained from the offenses.
Alexandria is about 15 miles southeast of Cincinnati.
This story was originally published January 14, 2022 6:13 PM.