BRUNSWICK, Ga. (WSAV) — A Rincon man has been found guilty on all charges by a U.S. District Court jury after killing a whistleblower who exposed a multi-million-dollar scheme of fraudulently employing undocumented workers.

According to David H. Estes, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia, Juan Rangel-Rubio 45, of Rincon was found guilty after a five-day trial of Conspiracy to Retaliate Against a Witness; Conspiracy to Kill a Witness; Conspiracy to Conceal, Harbor and Shield Illegal Aliens; and Money Laundering Conspiracy

The charges carry a statutory minimum sentence of life in prison, and there is no parole in the federal system.

Higinio Perez-Bravo, 52, of Savannah, and Rangel-Rubios brother, Pablo Rangel-Rubio, 53, of Rincon are awaiting sentencing after they both plead guilty to the conspiracy to kill Eliud Montoya. Officials say that Montoya blew the whistle on a scheme of hiring and mistreating undocumented workers.

As reflected in court records and evidence presented to the jury, Pablo Rangel-Rubio worked as a supervisor at Wolf Tree – a contract company that performed tree-cutting services on utility rights-of-way with his brother, Juan Rangel-Rubio.

The two schemed to hire undocumented workers to work for the company, and then routed the paychecks to their own bank accounts where they skimmed a portion of the pay for themselves.

Mr. Montoya, a United States citizen who also worked at Wolf Tree, saw his colleagues being mistreated and complained to the company and to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. After Mr. Montoya blew the whistle on the scheme, Pablo Rangel-Rubio arranged for Mr. Montoya’s murder by paying Perez-Bravo for the use of his vehicles and to act as the getaway driver when Juan Rangel-Rubio shot Mr. Montoya to death. 

As a result of this scheme, the conspirators netted more than $3.5 million.