Chicago area siblings plead guilty to knowingly hiring undocumented workers

Two siblings have pleaded guilty in federal court to knowingly hiring undocumented workers.

Kenneth Kuzelka, 64, of Chicago, plead guilty Thursday to conspiracy to commit alien harboring for purposes of financial advantage.

His sister, Kari Kuzelka, 59, of Elgin, plead guilty to engaging in a pattern and practice of hiring unauthorized aliens.

The Kuzelkas admitted that in 2017 they schemed with the executive vice president of a Chicago staffing company to knowingly re-hire about 20 undocumented workers at KSO MetalFab Inc. — a sheet metal fabrication company in Streamwood.

The workers were previously employed by the company, but had been terminated after Homeland Security agents served the company with notice of suspected violations regarding the workers' employment-verification documents, authorities said.


The staffing agency then facilitated the undocumented workers' return to the company, authorities said.  Kenneth faces up to 10 years in federal prison, while Kari faces up to six months. 

The staffing executive vice president, Sergio Badani, of St. Charles, previously plead guilty to his role in the scheme. He was sentenced to two years of probation and fined $15,000.

A fourth defendant, Keith Kuzelka, of Elgin, also pleaded guilty and was sentenced to a year of probation.