Restaurant owner charged after deadly Novi fire

Posted at 10:02 AM, Feb 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-12 13:52:31-05

The owner of a Novi restaurant and his wife have been charged with harboring undocumented immigrants.

Five Mexican nationals were killed in a house fire on January 31. They were in the basement and couldn't escape after the fire started. 

Investigators say Roger Tam, 55, and Ada Lei, 48, provided the five men with housing and transportation to and from Kim's Garden restaurant as a condition of employment.

We're told employment records didn't show they were working at the restaurant.

"This case is a sobering reminder of the dangers employers create when they harbor undocumented immigrants," U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade said in a press release. "In order to obtain a competitive advantage by paying lower wages and evading taxes, some employers will subject undocumented workers to poor living conditions and even dangerous situations."