Marianas Variety

Last updateSat, 21 Jul 2018 12am







    Sunday, July 22, 2018-12:26:42A.M.






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MCC project manager gets 6 months for unlawful employment of alien

THE project manager of the Saipan casino investor’s contractor was sentenced on Monday to six months imprisonment after pleading guilty to one count of unlawful employment of alien.

Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona of the District Court for the NMI sentenced Yuqing Zhao, 43, of MCC International.

She also imposed a fine of $11,000 on Zhao, who was given credit for time served from April 1 to April 12, 2017.

The judge said Zhao will be placed on six months supervised release after completing his sentence.

She then dismissed the felony charges against Zhao, who was originally indicted for harboring of aliens which carries a 10-year prison term and $250,000 fine; and unlawful employment of aliens which carries a maximum penalty of six months imprisonment and $3,000 fine for each count.

After the sentencing, Zhao was immediately remanded to the Federal Bureau of Prisons to serve his sentence.

Zhao pled guilty to a misdemeanor charge and might not be subjected to immigration proceedings.

The judge vacated the trial on calendar, and unsealed the plea agreement filed by the parties following the sentencing.

Zhao, who was represented by attorney Colin Thompson, moved for sentencing following the defendant’s admission of guilt in open court.

Thompson said his client was not involved in the actual recruitment of the workers.

His role was much smaller, and it was his signature that made the payments to the workers possible, Thompson said.

His client’s primary goal, he added, is to serve his sentence immediately and go home to China.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric O’Malley said Zhao knowingly employed unauthorized aliens to work in the casino construction project from April 2016 to March 2017.

Zhao hired and continued to employ 15 aliens knowing that they were not authorized to work in the U.S., O’Malley said.