Thursday, February 22, 2007

1:18 p.m.

Three top officials of a nationwide cleaning service were charged today with fraud and tax crimes as part of an ongoing federal investigation that netted hundreds of illegal aliens in 18 states.

The illegal aliens were working as janitors for Rosenbaum-Cunningham International Inc., or RCI, a Nevada cleaning contractor for businesses.

The workers were swept up early today in 63 locations nationwide, including restaurants such as the House of Blues, Hard Rock Cafe, ESPN Zone, Planet Hollywood and others, according to a law enforcement official.

RCI co-owners Richard M. Rosenbaum and Edward Scott Cunningham and controller Christina Flocken face criminal fraud, immigration and tax charges in the 23-count indictment unsealed in U.S. District Court in Grand Rapids, Mich.

The investigation, led by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, began 20 months ago from concerns about cleaning crews at the Grand Traverse Resort in western Michigan.

As many as 300 illegal aliens working as janitors were caught up in the probe, according to the law enforcement official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the charges had not been announced publicly.

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