Arizona Car Wash Managers Accused of Hiring Illegal Immigrants, Creating Fake Identities

| by Emily Smith
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Managers of Danny’s Family Car Wash in Arizona hired undocumented workers and helped them create fictional identities, according to a federal indictment revealed on Monday.

The 78-count indictment details how location managers fired 900 workers after they were identified as undocumented during a 2011 government audit. The company later rehired those 900 workers and scattered them throughout 13 car wash locations with new identities.

Authorities have not charged Daniel “Danny” Hendon, owner of the car wash company, though the government will seize the 18 corporate entities that form the legal foundation.

However, ten men characterized as mid to high level employees were charged Monday, nine of which received bail.

“I want to make clear for the community that this was not an immigration-enforcement operation,” Barbara Gonzalez, a spokesperson for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said. “This was a criminal investigation.”

Thirty employees will face deportation because of criminal histories or a repeated history of immigration violations, including dedicated employee Juan Carlos Raynosa Espinoza, who worked at Danny’s for nearly a decade.

Espinoza has refused to sign a voluntary deportation order, and has two other deportation orders pending against him.

“He is not a criminal,” his wife Luara Torres said. “All he wants to do is work for his family.”

Hendon could not be reached for comment.

Sources: AZ Central, The NY Times