Attorney Danny Ellis tried to size up the president of Aztec Framing.
"Who is your major competitor?" he asked in August 2015, during a deposition in a civil trial.
"I don't know," Juan Antonio Perez said.
"Give me three competitors that you have," Ellis said.
"I don't know," Perez told him.
"You don't know who else is in business trying to get the same jobs you're trying to get?" Ellis asked.
Perez, 46, was not acting coy. Before federal agents raided his offices last month, he had the deepest labor pool in the market, according to interviews with seven local developers. He also boasted strong relationships with some of Chattanooga's most prolific home builders, relationships that dated back more than a decade.