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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. Can I get this form on line,if not where can I obtain one. I am eligible.

  2. What a fine example of the best of the Hoosier tradition! How sad that the AP has to include partisan snark in the obit for this great American patriot and adventurer.

  3. Why are all these lawyers yakking to the media about pending matters? Trial by media? What the devil happened to not making extrajudicial statements? The system is falling apart.

  4. It is a sad story indeed as this couple has been only in survival mode, NOT found guilty with Ponzi, shaken down for 5 years and pursued by prosecution that has been ignited by a civil suit with very deep pockets wrenched in their bitterness...It has been said that many of us are breaking an average of 300 federal laws a day without even knowing it. Structuring laws, & civilForfeiture laws are among the scariest that need to be restructured or repealed . These laws were initially created for drug Lords and laundering money and now reach over that line. Here you have a couple that took out their own money, not drug money, not laundering. Yes...Many upset that they lost money...but how much did they make before it all fell apart? No one ask that question? A civil suit against Williams was awarded because he has no more money to fight...they pushed for a break in order...they took all his belongings...even underwear, shoes and clothes? who does that? What allows that? Maybe if you had the picture of him purchasing a jacket at the Goodwill just to go to court the next day...his enemy may be satisfied? But not likely...bitterness is a master. For happy ending lovers, you will be happy to know they have a faith that has changed their world and a solid love that many of us can only dream about. They will spend their time in federal jail for taking their money from their account, but at the end of the day they have loyal friends, a true love and a hope of a new life in time...and none of that can be bought or taken That is the real story.

  5. Could be his email did something especially heinous, really over the top like questioning Ind S.Ct. officials or accusing JLAP of being the political correctness police.

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