Advocate staff report
Florida Parishes bureau
August 12, 2012
PONCHATOULA — A Ponchatoula man and his home elevation company have been indicted by a federal grand jury on 11 counts of conspiring to harbor illegal aliens, corruptly impeding the IRS and other related charges, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
Christopher Benson, 32, and his Louisiana Home Elevations LLC are charged with conspiring to conceal and encourage illegal aliens by providing them employment with the company, conducting related monetary transactions and structuring their finances to evade reporting requirements, U.S. Attorney Jim Letten said Friday in a news release from his New Orleans office.
Benson also individually faces a charge of corruptly impeding the IRS by engaging in acts to avoid paying payroll taxes, Medicare, Social Security and income taxes on behalf of his company’s workers, Letten said.
If convicted, Benson faces up to 113 years in prison, three years of supervised release and $3 million in fines, Letten said.
Benson also may be required to pay restitution to the IRS.
The Ponchatoula company faces up to $4 million in fines, Letten said.