Lake Developer Accused of Using Illegal Workers

9 years 6 months 3 days ago March 28, 2007 Mar 28, 2007 Wednesday, March 28 2007 Wednesday, March 28, 2007 1:30:45 PM CDT in News

"I believe in a level playing field," said Jay Nixon. "Those who evade tax responsibility by hiring undocumented workers and paying them under the table have an unfair and illegal advantage over businesses that play by the rules."

Nixon has charged Michael Schlup, a Kansas contractor who is building condos at the lake, with recruiting 30-35 illegal workers, paying them in cash and notwithholding taxes from their pay.

If he's convicted, Schlup faces a fine of up to $10,000 and up to five years in prison on each of 14 felony counts.

"These practices take advantage of vulnerable workers and place their safety at risk," explained Nixon. "And they depress pay for hard-working Missourians, and they are unfair to businesses who go out and work hard every day and follow the laws of this state."

One labor union leader agreed with the crackdown.

"The problem here is that employers are providing employment," said the AFL-CIO's Herb Johnson. "If there was no employment, they wouldn't be coming here."

Nixon began investigating after reports that a worker died at Schlup's construction site.

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