By Kevin O’Rourke
The owner of a pool service company used by several Germantown area home owners associations, has been sentenced for is involvement in a pattern of knowingly hiring unauthorized aliens.
On Dec. 29, U.S. District Judge Paul W. Grimm sentenced Raymond Scott Vincent, 47, of Gaithersburg, owner of Gaithersburg-based RSV Pools, Inc. to just 48 hours in prison and 60 days of home confinement as part of18 months of probation. Judge Grimm also ordered Vincent to perform 80 hours of community service, pay a fine of $36,000 and forfeit $42,262.60.
The sentencing stems from a visa fraud scheme which landed a Germantown resident in federal prison for two years. In July, Milen Radomirski, 34, formerly of Hamlet Square Court in Germantown and an employee of RSV Pools was sentenced to two years in prison for visa fraud. Radomirski, a Bulgarian national, was also order to forfeit $100,000.
According to Radomirski’s plea agreement, from 2003 to August 2013, Radomirski worked for RSV Pools, Inc. which provided lifeguards and pool maintenance for a number of Germantown area pools, including Clarksburg Village, and Fountain Hills Community pools, and many pools in the North Lake Village Federation, as well as the Kentlands and Lakeland community pools in Gaithersburg during this time.
While he was employed by RSV Pools, Radomirski recruited international workers which Vincent’s company would sponsor to work in the U.S. on H-2B visas and other short-term visas. Radomirski admitted that he fraudulently obtained more than 100 H-2B visas. An H-2B visa is a non-immigrant visa granted to citizens of other countries to work in the U.S. on a temporary basis.
According to the Department of Justice, from 2006 through 2011, RSV Pools submitted applications for approximately 789 H-2B visas. Radomirski’s company certified to the U.S. Department of Labor that it had not sought or received payment from the employee to obtain the visa and specified to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services the job in which the foreign national supposedly would be employed. Sponsored workers could not legally be employed by any other company. The company was required to notify the Division of Homeland Security if an H-2B worker failed to report to work within five days after their specified start date or if a worker absconded or was terminated.
According to the Department of Justice, Radomirski admitted that he charged visa beneficiaries money in exchange for including them on his company’s petitions for H-2B visas. Radomirski knew that many of the visa beneficiaries would not work for his company at all, would only work at his company for a short period of time, or would work for other employers in addition to his company.
“American businesses are permitted to sponsor foreign workers to enter the United States lawfully under the H-2B visa program, but Milen Radomirski undermined that program by falsely vouching for hundreds of aliens who were not expected to comply with the terms of the visa,” said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein.
Scott Vincent, who was Radomirski’s boss at RSV Pools, admitted that the company hired least 12 unauthorized aliens. Vincent approved the employment of each unauthorized alien and knew that at least three of the individuals were not legally authorized to work when he approved them for employment, according to Vincent’s plea agreement. The other nine employees were legally authorized for employment when they were hired, but their work status expired and they continued employment with RSV, all with Vincent’s knowledge. Vincent approved paying four of the unauthorized employees in cash so that they did not appear on RSV’s books.
According to the Department of Justice, Vincent also permitted at least three of the unauthorized aliens to rent a company apartment in 2012 and 2013. Vincent profited, either directly or indirectly through RSV, from the unauthorized aliens’ rent payments.
A check of the RSV Pools, website shows a section dedicated to offering international students the opportunity to spend summers in the United States. “The Work and Travel [program] offers international university students a challenging opportunity to intimately experience life and culture in the U.S. during their summer holiday period through our J-1 Visa Program,” said the website under the heading International Programs. “International students are able to work side by side with U.S. students. The Work/Travel Program allows you to spend up to four months working in the USA with additional month to explore the country on your own or with your friends.” The site contains photos of purported international students at various landmarks including the U.S. Capitol and Statue of Liberty.
As part of Vincent’s plea agreement, neither he nor his company can apply for visas or work permits for any foreign workers for three years.