Hispanic workers claim they were swindled out of cash, jobs

By Patrice Clark - bio | email

PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - "We were scammed, pretty much robbed, betrayed, abandoned," Leandro Arcila said.

Arcila said he drove 24 hours from New Jersey to Pascagoula thinking he was going to make big money, but he was wrong.

"His name is Jose Turcios. The company, he said, we were going to work for was Industrial Corrosion Control Company. Pretty much everybody came down here for nothing," Arcila said.

The workers claim they paid for gas, food, hotel, and $125 for a background check. They say that was money the recruiters promised they would get back once they started working.

"Maybe from everyone he got maybe $12,000 big ones. He just took all the money from all the people here," Worker Melvin Mendytea said.

Pascagoula Police Captain Shannon Broom believes there is more to this story that the group has not revealed.

"What we have been able to determine is we had a guy here local in Pascagoula that knew of some jobs coming up. And he called a couple of guys he knows and said, 'We need about 60 guys for work.' He said they will have to pass a safety test, a sight safety test, and a drug test," Broom said.

Broom said many of these men didn't pass the test, and as result they couldn't get the jobs.

"As a result of them being able to pass the first test, seems as if they got irritated and caused the problem, where the company said, 'We are not going to hire anyone.' The fee was for helping these guys get in, do their paper work, process their paper work for them, and get them to the testing sites."

Pascagoula Police are still investigating this case as a criminal matter.

"It appears as if is just a big misunderstanding at this time. After the interviews continue we will actually determine whether there was a crime committed."

WLOX News contacted Operations Manager Curtis McDaniel with Industrial Corrosion Control who said the company has not solicited or authorized anyone to promise jobs.

Pascagoula Police say a local contractor is helping some of the workers find employment.