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Western Wisconsin business owner gets prison for underpaying migrant employees



An Eleva area business owner is sentenced to 18 months in prison for making false statements to the goverment about immigrant workers that he employed.

Alfredo Aguilar was sentenced this week, and also was ordered by a federal judge to pay restitution of over $1.1 million to non-citizen workers that he recruited from Mexico and Central America.

Aguilar was a co-owner of Northwoods Forestry in Eleva between 2015 and December 2018, when he reportedly recruited workers from outside the U.S. forestry work. Investigators say Aguilar instead placed those workers in other professions, and falsely told them that they could legally work at their businesses.

He admitted that Northwoods did not pay those workers the highest wages available for their jobs, and did not pay the workers overtime. The Department of Justice says Aguilar has now paid over the full fine and restitution for the migrant workers, after pleading guilty to charges in January.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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