The onetime operator of a Minneapolis temporary-employment agency under suspicion for hiring illegal immigrants has admitted to cheating the federal government out of more than $425,000 in payroll deductions.
Doris Ruiz pleaded guilty in federal court in St. Paul this week to failing to pay more than $150,000 in payroll taxes and another $276,987 to cover the employer's share of FICA taxes, which fund Social Security and Medicare, from 2005 through 2007.
Ruiz owned Olen Staff Co., which provides workers to factories, construction companies and other businesses. She also has served on Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak's Latino Advisory Committee.
Ruiz faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison. Sentencing has yet to be scheduled.
In 2008, federal investigators shut down Olen after court affidavits alleged that she placed illegal immigrants with regional businesses, provided false documentation and did not pay taxes for herself or workers for several years.
Two years earlier, a Carlton County sheriff's deputy stopped Ruiz in a car with several undocumented workers on their way to a job site. An assistant county attorney said he was told to dismiss a complaint to make way for federal charges.
As recently as this spring, Ruiz appeared to be back in business, but the company's phone was not in service Thursday.
Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482