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The Proprietor of Bonfire Mongolian Grill in Clarksville is Among Those Indicted for Harboring Illegal Labor

Last week, the owners and operators of numerous Japanese restaurants in Middle Tennessee were indicted for harbouring undocumented workers.

Clarksville’s Bonfire Mongolian Grill is included on the list.

Zhongzhi “Tommy” Zhuo, 46, Jianping “Alan” Zhuo, 37, and Xiaofen “Joyce” Zhuo, 38, all of Hendersonville; Jianhua “Jason” Zhuo, 35, and Lili Wu, 32, both of Gallatin, were indicted by the federal government in Nashville on Wednesday.

In 2017, Jianping “Alan” Zhuo founded the eatery Clarksville Bonfire Mongolian Grill.

The indictment alleges that Zhongzhi, Jianping, and Jianhua Zhuo, along with Lily Wu, conspired to illegally hide individuals in the United States, according to a statement from the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Tennessee.

In the event of conviction, the suspects face five to twenty years in prison.

In addition to naming the Bonfire Mongolian Grill in Clarksville as one of the restaurants harbouring undocumented workers, the release also called Fuji Japanese Steakhouse, which has locations in Hendersonville, Goodlettsville, and White House; Bonfire Mongolian Grill, which has locations in Hendersonville, Mount Juliet, and Spring Hill; and Koi Japanese Steakhouse, which is located in Gallatin.


Additionally, the indictment alleges that residential properties in Hendersonville, Gallatin, Goodlettsville, Clarksville, Mount Juliet, and Spring Hill owned or leased by one or more defendants served as shelters for undocumented immigrants.

The indictment alleges that the defendants communicated with and paid a broker to identify and deliver undocumented workers to the restaurants.

In addition, they employed undocumented workers without requiring them to complete applications or collect documents to determine the worker’s immigration status or employment authorization; housed the undocumented workers at the residences; transported the undocumented workers between the residences and restaurants; and maintained separate accounting records for payments to undocumented workers made outside of the regular payroll system.

Xiaofen “Joyce” Zhuo was charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States for paying undocumented workers in cash, failing to withhold and pay employment taxes to the IRS, and refusing to permit undocumented workers, including those with Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers, to pay taxes.

According to the announcement, the defendants also conspired to provide overstated earnings to tax preparation firms that produced and filed tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service.

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The indictment also includes a forfeiture allegation in which the United States seeks to seize four residences associated with the commission of the charges, in addition to bank accounts and a money judgment representing the proceeds of the crimes.

According to the indictment, the defendants communicated with and paid a broker to locate and deliver undocumented workers to the restaurants.

The suspects face prison terms ranging from five to twenty years if convicted.

This case was investigated by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, Homeland Security Investigations, IRS-Criminal Investigation, and the Hendersonville Police Department.

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