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Phoenix car wash owner enters plea in hiring case

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PHOENIX (KSAZ) - A guilty plea from the owner of a Phoenix car wash chain. The owner of Danny's Family Car Wash pleads guilty to committing identity fraud.

ICE raided the car washes late last year; owner Danny Hendon is accused of fraud in his hiring practices.

Danny Hendon wasn't indicted last year when federal agents raided his business. It had been a question ever since whether he would face charges. On Thursday the charges were filed, although Hendon's attorney says a plea deal has been in the works for months.

Danny Hendon pleaded guilty to his role in the illegal hiring of undocumented workers. In court documents, Hendon admits to turning "a blind eye" on his businesses illegal practices.

The charges come nearly one year after federal agents raided 16 locations, arrest workers, and managers, for immigration and identity fraud. They are also accused of knowingly hiring workers using false identification.

But the prominent Phoenix valley businessman wasn't originally indicted in the case. The U.S. Attorneys Office filed charges Thursday.

He pleaded guilty to a single count of conspiracy to commit identity fraud after his attorney reached a plea deal.

"As part of the plea, Danny accepted responsibility for his role in the matter. It was a tough day for him, but he's accepted responsibility and he's glad to have today behind him. He's looking forward to the future and doing some other things," said Lee Stein.

The agreement requires Hendon to step down as the company president.

"Danny is able to, and will likely remain in a consultant role in the company," said Stein.

Hendon's daughter Heather Hendon is reported to take over. Hendon is scheduled to go before a judge on October 20th for his sentencing.

The U.S. Attorney's office said that he could face possible prison time.
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