Danny's Family Car Wash defends itself against undocumented worker allegations

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

PHOENIX -- Danny's Family Car Wash is defending itself after the company and more than a dozen employees were charged with hiring undocumented workers and finding stolen identities for them to use.

The federal indictment against Danny’s and 14 of its employees was unsealed in federal court on Monday.  Some of the charges include aggravated identity theft, pattern/practice of knowingly employing unauthorized aliens and immigration document fraud.

“The company has not committed any crimes and we're going to vigorously defend all the allegations in the indictment,” said Eric Falbe, general counsel for Danny’s Family Companies.  "We still have a car wash to run so that’s what we’re going to do."

On Saturday, federal Homeland Security agents raided Danny’s Family Car Wash locations around the Valley and detained more than 200 people. Thirty of those people still face deportation and 14 have been charged with federal crimes.

According to the indictment, a 2011 audit by the feds showed half of the company's nearly 2,000 employees were undocumented workers.  Danny's fired all of those people but then, according to the indictment, started re-hiring many of them under assumed identities. 

Danny's Family Companies and several associated LLCs are named in the federal indictment, which claims the company knew its managers were not only hiring undocumented workers, but also helping them find stolen identities to continue illegal employment.

Falbe was adamant the company has done nothing wrong but stopped short of sticking up for the 14 employees arrested in Saturday’s raid.

“The indictment only names a handful of individuals that I don't represent.  I represent the company so it would be improper to talk about anybody else's case other than the company’s,” Falbe said.  "We fully cooperated with all the government officials that were here and, you know, gave them unfettered access to all the records they wanted.”

Danny's car wash owner Daniel Hendon hasn't been personally named in the indictment, but the feds are still investigating and have said more defendants could be named.