If authorities are right, and local construction company owner Hugo Diaz was using illegal-alien indentured servant labor to undercut local contractors, he couldn’t have done it without help in the community.
There had to have been local businesses, contractors and builders who turned a blind eye and let it all happen. And participated in it.
We’ve been told by two different sources, for instance, that the million-dollar mansion Diaz had built on a golf course has no mortgage – that it was paid for with cash. We’re also told there were numerous other transactions in the tens of thousands of dollars made with cash or checks. Financial institutions and others are required to notify authorities about such things.
Moreover, how were undocumented aliens able to navigate the building and contracting and banking industries with ease, for years? And nobody wondered a thing?
The truth is, there were likely businesses and business people who were only too happy to wear blindfolds if it meant saving or making a buck.
“Absolutely there were builders complicit,” said local builder Joey Brush, adding that someone would’ve had to obtain building permits for Diaz since he didn’t have a state license to do so.
Brush said he even had a banker try to convince him to do business with Diaz to lower his costs and become more competitive.
Another Augustan familiar with the building community said of Diaz, “He has been undercutting everyone in the market by 30 percent or more.”
Brush, a former state legislator, said it was well known in the building community what was going on, and that lenders and others had to know as well.
“I’d be shocked if they didn’t know this guy was illegal,” Brush said.
Whether or not they did, such practices put downward pressure on home values even as the national economy has them in a funk.
And if there were large financial transactions that went unreported, there’s legal trouble there, too.
It won’t be enough for Hugo Diaz and his compatriots to have their day in court. Others may need it, too.