Kansas Company Accused of Forced Labor, Kickbacks

The owners of a Kansas roofing company are accused of forcing workers who are in the country illegally to pay kickbacks by threatening to turn them into immigration agents if they didn’t.

A 17-count federal indictment unsealed Tuesday in Kansas City, Kansas, accuses Century Roofing owners Tommy Frank Keaton and Graziano Cornolo of profiting from kickbacks since at least 2009.

Prosecutors say workers who were in the country illegally were paid in cash to complete roofing projects in the Kansas City metropolitan area on both sides of the state line, then forced to give some of the money back.

A spokesman for Acting U.S. Attorney Tom Beall says no attorneys had entered an appearance for either defendant. Keaton’s voice mailbox was full Tuesday and Cornolo doesn’t have a listed number.