Key West labor staffing conspirator pleads guilty to immigration fraud


Date: November 22, 2022


A former Key West resident pleaded guilty today to an immigration conspiracy related to the operation of several Key West labor staffing companies.

According to court documents and statements made in court, from January 2016 through at least January 2021, Oleksandr Morgunov, formerly of Key West, helped operate Paradise Choice LLC, Paradise Choice Cleaning LLC, Tropical City Services LLC and Tropical City Group LLC, all of which were labor staffing companies in southern Florida. The staffing companies facilitated the employment of individuals in hotels, bars and restaurants in Key West and other locations, even though the employees were not authorized to work in the United States.

As part of his plea, Morgunov admitted that he and his co-conspirators paid the workers without withholding Social Security, Medicare and income taxes from their wages, then did not report those wages to the IRS as required by law. Morgunov also acknowledged that he and his co-conspirators defrauded the IRS out of more than $7.9 million in employment taxes.

Morgunov is scheduled to be sentenced on January 31, 2023. He faces a maximum penalty of ten years in prison for conspiring to harbor aliens and induce them to remain in the United States. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department's Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Juan Antonio Gonzalez for the Southern District of Florida made the announcement.

IRS-Criminal Investigation and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Homeland Security Investigations are investigating the case.

Senior Litigation Counsel Sean Beaty and Trial Attorneys Jessica A. Kraft and Nicholas J. Schilling, Jr., of the Tax Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris Clark of the Southern District of Florida are prosecuting the case.