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Employer that is caught hiring undocumented...sells business

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  • Al Soto
    Date: Tue, 3 Aug 2004 21:25:09 -0700 (PDT) From: Rosalio Munoz Subject: More Main Street USA, South Carolina From South Carolina
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 4, 2004
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      Date: Tue, 3 Aug 2004 21:25:09 -0700 (PDT)
      From: Rosalio Munoz <rosalio_munoz@...>
      Subject: More Main Street USA, South Carolina

      From South Carolina

      Attorneys seek to freeze assets of staffing agencies' owners

      Father, son accused in illegal immigrant labor case sold property after
      suit was filed
      BY JAMES SCOTT
      Of The Post and Courier Staff

      Attorneys suing a Charleston employment agency accused of profiting off
      illegal immigrant labor are trying to freeze the owners' assets after
      discovering Lawton Limehouse and his son have disposed of nearly a
      half-million dollars in real estate.
      Attorneys with the Hulsey Litigation Group filed a request for a
      temporary restraining order late Friday in federal court, citing Limehouse's
      recent $280,000 sale of property in Hollywood. Records show his son,
      Lawton Limehouse Jr., who also is a defendant, gave his West Ashley home
      to his wife. Both transactions occurred after the class action suit was
      filed in April.
      The men owned and operated L&L Services LLC and WLL LLC, two temporary
      staffing agencies that provided as many as 500 workers a year to
      prominent area golf courses, restaurants and construction sites. Both
      businesses have since shut down and are the focus of a federal investigation.
      Paul Hulsey, founding partner of the Wharfside Street law firm in
      downtown Charleston, said he hopes to persuade a judge to bar the Limehouses
      from disposing of any other assets that could be subject to a verdict
      when the case goes to trial. He said a hearing on the order is expected
      soon.
      Limehouse's attorney, John Massalon of the Meeting Street firm Wills &
      Massalon, declined to comment Monday. For his part, Massalon filed a
      motion Thursday asking a judge to stall the discovery phase of the civil
      suit based on the fact that federal postal inspectors seized all
      business documents in a May raid on the elder Limehouse's home in West
      Ashley. Massalon wrote in the motion that he has tried unsuccessfully to get
      copies of his client's seized records.
      The federal lawsuit, brought on behalf of six Mexican workers, accuses
      the Limehouses' businesses of making fake Social Security and green
      cards, cheating workers out of overtime pay and housing them in rundown
      properties, several of which were condemned by city inspectors.
      Limehouse, who along with his son could not be reached for comment Monday, have
      denied the allegations in court filings.
      If granted, the restraining order would bar the father and son from
      selling or disposing of any personal or business assets without first
      getting a judge's permission. It also would forbid the destruction of any
      possible evidence, ranging from pay stubs and employee records to
      e-mails.
      To support their argument that the order is needed, attorneys attached
      real estate records showing that on May 13, younger Limehouse gave his
      home at 2410 Sylvan Shores Drive to his wife for $1 and "love and
      affection." County records show the couple purchased the home off Savannah
      Highway in 1988 for $100,000. The county now values the three-bedroom,
      two-bath house at $139,500 for tax purposes. The following day, property
      records show the elder Limehouse sold four vacant lots in Hollywood for
      a combined $280,000, $40,000 less than what he paid for the properties
      in August 2002.
      Attorneys have said one goal of the suit, which also lists yet-to-be
      named restaurants, hotels and golf courses that used L&L Services, is to
      establish a fund to compensate victimized workers. Hulsey said Monday
      that his office is close to naming some Lowcountry businesses in the
      suit, but before doing so plans to call a meeting with those companies.
      "This is a community problem," Hulsey said. "I hope that I can sit down
      with these companies and we can all find a way to resolve this."
      Marco Torres, an attorney with the Hulsey Litigation Group handling the
      case, added that the suit also will be amended soon to include nine new
      plaintiffs, bringing the total involved to 15.
      "Our goal is for this lawsuit to encompass all former employees who
      have been injured, who weren't paid regular wages and former employees who
      weren't paid overtime," Torres said. "Hopefully the lawsuit will
      eventually cover them all."


      Click here to return to story:
      http://www.charleston.net/stories/080304/loc_03limehouse.shtml



      The news is to be reported not to sway opinion. No more melodrama of constant entertainment trivia on news time. The founding fathers knew that government is always corrupt, that is why they gave us civil liberties. The people must lead to survive corrupt governments. Read the constitution. (In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this includes information for research and educational purposes.) Al Soto (c) 2004



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