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Restaurant owners accused of harboring illegal immigrants, mail fraud

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An Illinois couple has been indicted in federal court on charges that include harboring illegal immigrants at a restaurant they operate in northwestern Indiana.

Michael McClellan, 38, and Tina McClellan, 36, own and operate the Paragon Restaurant in Schererville and the T&M Daycare in Calumet City, Ill. A federal indictment unsealed Thursday accuses them of a count of harboring illegal aliens, three counts of mail fraud, and a charge of making money transactions in criminally derived property, according to a statement from David Capp, U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Indiana.

A grand jury returned the indictment on Oct. 17. It alleges that from February 2009 to about March 2010, Michael McClellan harbored illegal aliens at the Paragon Restaurant and at a home he owned behind the restaurant. He also is accused of submitting false quarterly reports that failed to account for restaurant employees he had paid in cash in a scheme to defraud the Indiana Department of Workforce Development out of unemployment insurance tax contributions, the statement from Capp’s office said.

The indictment also alleges that from 2006 through 2010, the McClellans, as owners of the T&M Daycare, provided false information to the state of Illinois claiming certain children had attended the daycare, when they had not, causing reimbursements of at least $200,000 from the state of Illinois and Healthy Start program. The McClellans used the criminally derived funds to purchase the home located behind the Paragon Restaurant, according to the statement.

“Homeland Security Investigations holds employers accountable when they knowingly hire an illegal alien workforce to gain an unfair advantage over their law-abiding competitors. Our goal is to level the playing field for those businesses that play by the rules,” said Gary Hartwig, special agent in charge of HSI Chicago.

The McClellans made an initial appearance Thursday in federal court in Hammond before Magistrate Judge Paul Cherry. Their formal arraignment is scheduled for 11 a.m. Dec. 12.


 

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  • you hurt all your employees
    I use to work at the day care morning and night and lie on me and fired me and then denied me unemployment and call the police on me he treated me bad but I was all way there on time to and did over time. So I say you can not miss treat nobody and get blessed.

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  1. Well, maybe it's because they are unelected, and, they have a tendency to strike down laws by elected officials from all over the country. When you have been taught that "Democracy" is something almost sacred, then, you will have a tendency to frown on such imperious conduct. Lawyers get acculturated in law school into thinking that this is the very essence of high minded government, but to people who are more heavily than King George ever did, they may not like it. Thanks for the information.

  2. I pd for a bankruptcy years ago with Mr Stiles and just this week received a garnishment from my pay! He never filed it even though he told me he would! Don't let this guy practice law ever again!!!

  3. Excellent initiative on the part of the AG. Thankfully someone takes action against predators taking advantage of people who have already been through the wringer. Well done!

  4. Conour will never turn these funds over to his defrauded clients. He tearfully told the court, and his daughters dutifully pledged in interviews, that his first priority is to repay every dime of the money he stole from his clients. Judge Young bought it, much to the chagrin of Conour’s victims. Why would Conour need the $2,262 anyway? Taxpayers are now supporting him, paying for his housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and clothing. If Conour puts the money anywhere but in the restitution fund, he’s proved, once again, what a con artist he continues to be and that he has never had any intention of repaying his clients. Judge Young will be proven wrong... again; Conour has no remorse and the Judge is one of the many conned.

  5. Pass Legislation to require guilty defendants to pay for the costs of lab work, etc as part of court costs...

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