A Jacksonville father and son each have pleaded guilty in Jacksonville federal court to one count of "conspiracy to defraud the United States."
Raul Solis, 51, and Raul Solis-Martinez of Solis Brothers Company and Duval Framing, construction subcontracting companies, employed undocumented workers, some of whom had been previously deported; paid them partially off the books, allowing them to manipulate pay; and hid $22,186,096 of wages from the Internal Revenue Service.
When Solis and his son are sentenced on a date to be determined, the $5,613,082 in payroll tax that would have been collected from those wages will be the restitution. Each man surrendered his Mexican passport.
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What the guilty pleas say
Solis' guilty plea says he formed Solis Brothers Co. in 2006 and state records say he registered it with the state in 2013. State records say Martinez formed Duval Framing in 2015. The father-son guilty pleas say that they worked with Hugo Cruz Medina's H&S Framing to pull their frauds.
Under Florida law, it's a felony for construction contractors or subcontractors to go without worker compensation insurance. As the guilty pleas describe, that's generally more expensive the larger the company payroll, and the same often is true for administrative fees to third party companies managing payroll and other administrative matters.
"A typical week for construction workers in the Jacksonville area is comprised of six workdays and, typically, eight or more hours of work per day," the guilty pleas say. "The conspirators, however, submitted to their third party payroll companies information claiming that the majority of their employees had been working on a part-time basis, typically reporting that they worked between 30 to 50 hours total per two-week period."
This allowed Solis and Martinez to short the employees on pay, the third-party company on fees and the government on various taxes. But atc least the workers would be made whole with cash or supplemental checks from one of the three companies, although the pleas didn't say whether they received proper overtime pay. Some Solis Brothers employees were recorded, falsely, as H&S Framing employees.
"In Northeast Florida, it is a common practice in the residential construction industry to employ aliens unauthorized to work in the United States," the guilty pleas admit. "Some had been previously removed or deported from the United States."
One worker began working for Solis Brothers, got deported in 2012., then sneaked back in and resumed working for Solis Brothers. Solis and Martinez "knew that many of his employees were unauthorized aliens."
IRS-Criminal Investigation, Homeland Security Investigations, the U.S. Department of Labor-Office of Inspector General, and Florida Department of Financial Services investigated this case.