Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Exploitation of Biblical Proportions

(PR) - Acting Assistant Attorney General Molly Moran for the Civil Rights Division and United States Attorney Bill Nettles announced today that Reginald Wayne Miller, of Marion, South Carolina, has entered a guilty plea in federal court in Florence to fraud in foreign labor contracting.

Additionally, Miller entered a guilty plea to visa fraud and wage and hour violations.  United States District Judge R. Bryan Harwell of Florence accepted the guilty plea and will impose sentence after he has reviewed the presentence report which will be prepared by the U.S. probation office.

Evidence presented at the hearing established that Miller knowingly recruited and enticed foreign students to attend Cathedral Bible College, where he was president.  In doing so, Miller recruited these students outside of the United States for purposes of employment at Cathedral Bible College by means of false representations and promises regarding the employment.

Further, he made material false statements under penalty of perjury on the related immigration documents for these student employees.  Once the students arrived in the United States, Miller violated the Fair Labor Standards Act by failing to pay the student employees the applicable minimum wage.

The maximum penalty for fraud in foreign labor contracting is imprisonment for five years and/or a fine of $250,000.  The maximum penalty for visa fraud is imprisonment for 15 years and/or a fine of $250,000.  The maximum penalty for wage and hour violations is imprisonment for six years and/or a fine of $10,000.

The case was investigated by agents of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement.  Justice Department Civil Rights Division Trial Attorney Saeed A. Mody and Assistant U.S. Attorney Carrie Fisher Sherard are prosecuting the case.

Miller, whose Cathedral Bible College has campuses in Myrtle Beach and Marion, was charged with two counts of felony forced labor. Prosecutors say he forced foreign students attending his school to work for low wages by threatening to cancel their visas if they complained.

Seeking to obtain a response from the organization was unsuccessful. Photo archive.

—> Edited by Anibal Ibarra

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