Rochester, N.Y. - Two owners of Clover Lawn Care are accused of employing illegal immigrants from Mexico and Guatemala.
The U.S. Attorney's Office says Geoffrey and Douglas Lechner, both of Brighton, were charged with harboring illegal aliens.
A criminal complaint says the Lechners employed and provided housing to these workers at 1100 Penfield Road.
The investigation started when Brighton Police responded to a crash on June 1 at North Landing Road and Penfield Road.
When an officer arrived there were four Hispanic men standing near the accident scene.
One of the men told police he was driving a Clover Lawn Care vehicle.
Police said Geoffrey Lechner arrived in a second company car soon after.
While the officer was speaking with the other driver involved in the crash, he said the four men in the first Clover vehicle left the scene.
The officer asked Geoffrey Lechner to have the men return to the scene.
Police said Lechner then claimed that he was actually driving the Clover Lawn Care vehicle involved in the crash.
Lechner was charged at that point with obstructing governmental administration.
Two of the four men who left the scene eventually returned.
Neither had New York identification and spoke little English.
The criminal complaint says Lechner eventually admitted that he knew the four men he employed were not citizens and that he could not find people to do "this kind of work".
One of the men, Alvaro Velasquez-Diaz, said he worked for Clover for about three years.
Velasquez-Diaz said he lived in a house that one of his bosses owned and paid $180 rent each month.
A second man, Carlos Ortiz-Morales, said he was hired in March and lived at 1100 Penfield Road in a home he believed that one of his bosses owned. Ortiz-Morales also said he paid $180 in rent.
He said after the accident on June 1, one of Clover's owners told the four men to walk home.
Property records showed that the Penfield Road home is owned by Douglas Lechner.
If convicted, the Lechners face up to 10 years in prison.