Missouri Man Pleads Guilty to Racketerring Conspiracy and Fraud in Foreign Labor Contracting Charges
Posted On: September 29, 2010
According to the Justice Department, Andrew Cole of Missouri pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy and fraud in foreign labor contracting charges. The Prosecution Unit Trial Attorney Jim Felte argued to the court that Cole was involved in recruiting Dominican Republic nationals under false terms and promises with the underlying knowledge that these workers would be exploited and their labor coerced. The charges came out of his role in a criminal enterprise that engaged in numerous criminal activities, including forced labor, fraud in foreign labor contracting, visa fraud, mail fraud, identity theft, tax evasion and money laundering. Specifically, Mr. Cole misrepresented their wages, working conditions, and type of employment. Mr. Cole sent the workers to a factory in Alabama where they were threatened with deportation and consequences if they didn’t comply with the orders. Other co-defendants also plead guilty in relation to the case and the remaining defendants await their trial on October 18. The case was investigated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the FBI, the Department of Labor (DOL), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Kansas Department of Revenue and the Independence, Mo., Police Department.