Houston Mom and Son Donut Shop Owners Charged with Witness Tampering
|U.S. Attorney’s Office September 10, 2013|
HOUSTON—Kim Hout Lor, 66, and Bun Vireak Long, 19, have been taken into custody on charges of tampering with witnesses in a pending official proceeding, announced United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson today. Lor is also charged with making false statements.
The indictment, returned August 20, 2013, was unsealed upon their arrests this morning. They are expected to make an initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge George Hanks this afternoon but potentially as early as 10:00 a.m. today.
According to allegations, the mother and son operated a donut shop in Porter called Pat’s Donuts, Kolaches, & Tacos, which had been under an investigation by the Department of Labor (DOL)-Wage and Hour Division for allegedly not properly compensating its work force.
Lor allegedly withheld information from investigators about undocumented aliens under her employment, the total number of employees she employed, and the number of hours her employees worked, according to the indictment. Additionally, Lor and Long allegedly contacted witnesses and undocumented aliens they employed during the pending investigation to intimidate, threaten, or corruptly persuade them in an effort to influence or prevent their testimony to DOL investigators.
If convicted of the witness tampering charges, Lor and Long face a possible 20 years in federal prison, as well as a possible $250,000 fine. Additionally, Lor could face another five years if convicted of making false statements and another $250,000 fine.
The case is being investigated by the FBI and DOL-Office of Inspector General and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Celia Moyer and Joseph Magliolo.
An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence. A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.