Joe Arpaio Supporter Danny Hendon Pleads Guilty in Identity Fraud Case
Danny Hendon, owner of the embattled Danny's Family Car Wash chain and a longtime supporter of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, pleaded guilty today in federal court to identity fraud, the Associated Press is reporting.
Several business entities under the DFC umbrella are scheduled for change of plea hearings today in related charges.
You may recall that in August of last year, 16 Danny's locations were raided by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. During that massive operation, 223 persons were taken into custody, with most eventually being released.
MCSOMemorialFund.com From the memorial fund's site (click for a larger image)
Thirty were held on immigration violations, and 14 were criminally charged in "a conspiracy to employ unauthorized aliens," as described by the indictment.
Hendon was not indicted at that time, but several of his managers were and have since pleaded guilty.
The federal indictment alleged that a 2010 federal audit of the company found that 942 out of 1,912 employees, nearly half the workforce, had not provided proper paperwork at the time they were hired.
DFC's general counsel later "submitted a signed certification letter to federal authorities indicating that as of April 23, 2011, DFC had terminated the employment of all 942 employees listed," according to the indictment.
But the feds say DFC turned right around and re-hired many of the employees it had axed.
The indictment states:
"Soon after 'terminating' the unauthorized employees in April 2011, DFC began rehiring many of the same individuals under new identities.
"In many instances, DFC's managers affirmatively assisted the employees in procuring identification documents and other personal identifiers that belonged to third parties (e.g., supplying employees with names, social security cards and numbers, and/or driver's licenses that belonged to others) to facilitate the rehiring."