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October 22, 2013

Restaurant owners arrested, face federal charges of harboring illegal workers

A couple has been arrested following a federal indictment alleging they have used illegal immigrants to work at their northwest Wichita restaurant.

A couple has been arrested following a federal indictment alleging they have used illegal immigrants to work at their northwest Wichita restaurant.

Yong “Tony” Lin, 33, and his wife, Zhuo Mei “Mandy” Weng, 29, of Wichita were arrested Tuesday by agents of the Department of Homeland Security on warrants issued in connection with the indictment, according to a statement issued by the U.S. Attorney’s Office. The indictment charges conspiracy and harboring of people unlawfully in the United States.

Agents of Homeland Security Investigations, in cooperation with the Wichita Police Department, executed search warrants at three west Wichita apartments and the restaurant, World Buffet Grill at 2243 N. Ridge Road. Lin and Weng are scheduled to make their initial court appearances at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday in U.S. District Court.

The indictment alleges two counts of conspiracy and six counts of harboring. It also seeks criminal forfeiture of assets associated with the alleged crimes. If convicted, the defendants face a maximum of five years in prison on each of the eight counts.

The indictment alleges that Lin and Weng paid employees in cash, failed to withhold for taxes and Social Security, failed to maintain unemployment and workers compensation insurance and failed to complete and maintain DHS Employment Eligibility Authorization forms.

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