Route 56 owners plead guilty to employing undocumented workers

By Chris Swick
September 10, 2015

The owners of Route 56 Express in McPherson have plead guilty to charges related to the unlawful employment of undocumented workers.

U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom announced Thursday that Satishkumar Patel, 47, and Daxaben Patel, 36, both of McPherson, had changed their pleas in the case to guilty.

Sentencing has been set for Nov. 25.

Satishkumar Patel pleaded guilty to engaging in a pattern or practice of employing undocumented workers, failure to collect federal income and Social Security taxes and operating an unlicensed money remitting business. Daxaben Patel pleaded to charge of the unlicensed money remitting business.

The charges carry a potential maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

As part of the plea agreement, the couple agreed to forfeit more than $700,000 in cash, money from bank accounts and gold seized by the government in the case. The assets represent proceeds from the Patels' unlawful activities.

Grissom said the investigation into the Patels began when inspectors from the Kansas Department of Revenue Alcohol Beverage Control witnessed employees at Route 56 sell tobacco products to minors. That led to the arrests and indictments in June.