Owners of Streamwood company charged with harboring, hiring undocumented workers

 (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

The operators of a sheet metal fabrication company are facing felony charges for allegedly harboring and hiring undocumented workers at their facility in northwest suburban Streamwood.

Dora Kuzelka, 81; Kenneth Kuzelka, 62; Kari Kuzelka, 56; and Keith Kuzelka, 58, are all charged with one count of knowingly harboring an illegal alien and one count of knowingly engaging in a pattern or practice of hiring illegal aliens, the U.S. Attorney’s office said. The Kuzelkas, from Elgin, all hold executive management positions at KSO MetalFab Inc., with the exception of Keith Kuzelka, who left the company last year and lives in Chicago.

The Kuzelka family had to fire over half of their 67 employees in 2017 after the U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations unit said 36 of them used fake documents to gain employment at KSO MetalFab Inc., prosecutors said. However, the Kuzelkas allegedly rehired at least 18 of those workers by telling them to apply through a staffing agency.

All four defendants were released on bond, prosecutors said. They are due back in court Oct. 29.

The Chicago Immigrations and Customs Enforcement office could not be reached for comment. It was not immediately known whether the 18 undocumented employees were being held or not.