June 3, 2008
The Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) has filed a RICO and Fair Housing discrimination lawsuit against Connolly Properties, Inc. and other defendants on behalf of a former employee and several tenants in the Federal District Court in New Jersey. The lawsuit asks the court to find the Defendants liable for unlawfully harboring illegal aliens, laundering the proceeds of illegal alien rental income, discriminating against U.S. citizen tenants, and mistreating U.S. citizen tenants and a former employee in the process.
The lawsuit alleges that Connolly Properties has intentionally targeted illegal aliens to fill vacant apartments in its complexes and that Connolly Properties has segregated tenants based on their race. Connolly Properties is a major operator of apartment buildings in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. IRLI believes that this is the first civil lawsuit challenging a landlord’s harboring of illegal aliens in rental housing to be filed under the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act. The United States Department of Justice is currently prosecuting a criminal RICO case in a federal district court in Kentucky alleging many of the same issues.
“Mistreatment of U.S. citizens is just another consequence Americans face daily when we tolerate the exploitation of illegal aliens for business gain,” said Mike Hethmon, General Counsel for IRLI. “The suffering these Americans have faced is reprehensible and we are confident the Court will agree.”
Harboring illegal aliens and housing discrimination are both crimes. Even when the government fails to act, Americans can still protect themselves against illegal immigration by using laws like the RICO statute to halt the criminal commercial activity and recover for their injuries.
“Hopefully, Connolly Properties will get its act together and start following the law now that they see that ordinary citizens will take legal action to defend their rights,” stated Hethmon. “These people have felt helpless at the hands of Connolly Properties for long enough.”
IRLI is a public interest law firm working to protect the legal rights, privileges, and property of U.S. citizens in immigration-related matters.
Contact info. Mike Hethmon, 202-232-5590, [email protected]
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