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JEFFERSON COUNTY — A Jefferson County landscaping company and its owner pleaded guilty to federal charges Thursday and admitted illegally leasing out 74 foreign workers to others, the U.S. Attorney's office said.

William J. Richardet, 64, of Jefferson County, and Cardinal Lawn and Landscape, Inc., of High Ridge, submitted immigration forms seeking H-2B visas for workers, falsely claiming that the workers would be employed exclusively by Cardinal, prosecutors said.

Instead, they leased out 74 workers to other companies from January 2012 to December 2017 at a profit, prosecutors said.

Both Richardet and the company pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to one count of conspiracy to commit visa fraud. 

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