Plea deal points finger at Danny's Car Wash owner - Fox 2 News Headlines

Plea deal points finger at Danny's Car Wash owner

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PHOENIX -

Did Danny Hendon, the owner of Danny's Car Wash know about a scheme to commit immigration fraud by re-hiring undocumented workers? A plea deal shows new details in the case. In that plea deal, a manager of the car wash seems to be implicating the car wash owner.

You may remember in August when the feds raided Danny' Car Washes from Gilbert to Scottsdale. At the time they said the two year investigation targeted owners and management of the car wash -- but the owner's name never showed up on the indictment.

However -- his initials turned up on a plea deal entered into court this week.

One attorney says it's by design. He says this is what the feds wanted -- the smaller fish to roll over on the bigger fish.

In a 28-page plea deal, indicted Danny's Car Wash manager Oscar Aguilar-Gastelum seems to point the finger at the company's owner for hatching a scheme to re-hire undocumented workers under different names.

He testified in a meeting at corporate headquarters in 2011, someone with the initials DH told him to re-hire employees who had just been fired and not ask about their immigration status.

He goes on to say DH said they could use the staffing provider as a "shield." All through this document, "DH," "DH," "DH."

"Interestingly they don't actually name DH. And that's probably he's as yet un-indicted. I mean, it becomes relatively obvious at this point," says attorney Adrian Fontes.

DH is believed to be Danny Hendon, the owner of Danny's Car Wash.

"And there are other individuals, DH, RS, HH."

Attorney Adrian Fontes represents one of about a dozen managers and lower level workers, indicted for immigration fraud and identity theft by the Department of Justice after a raid at 16 car washes in August.

"It's patently obvious that these are not the primary targets."

Danny Hendon has not been indicted, he's not facing charges in this case. We've reached out to him and his attorneys for comment but have not heard back.

"If they didn't have a decent enough case so far they're building it by virtue of cutting breaks, cutting these deals."

As part of the plea deal, the government dropped about 70 charges against Aguilar-Gastelum. He pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy and faces a maximum prison sentence of 5 years.

"It's going to be a lot less than 5 years for this guy, a lot less and why? Because he's handing them the other folks on a silver platter and that's exactly what the government wanted."

We're told there are more plea deals to come, but no word on if or when other indictments are in the making.

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