"Worksite enforcement actions target a key component of the illicit support structure that enables illegal immigration to flourish. No employer, regardless of industry or location is immune from complying with the nation's laws. ICE and our law enforcement partners will continue to bring all of our authorities to bear in this fight using criminal charges, asset seizures, administrative arrests and deportations."
Julie L. Myers, Assistant Secretary for Homeland Security,
U. S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
- Fresh Del Monte Produce - A federal grand jury returned indictments on June 27, 2007, against 10 former workers of the Portland, Ore., facility arrested in conjunction with an ICE investigation. They have been charged with possession of fraudulent immigration documents or Social Security fraud. The Fresh Del Monte facility was the site of a criminal search warrant executed on June 12, 2007, and a separate, court-ordered immigration enforcement action resulting in the arrest of more than 160 persons illegally present in the United States. ICE's six-month investigation into the fraudulent use of documents to illegally obtain employment at American Staffing Resources led to these indictments. Possession of a fraudulent immigration document carries a maximum punishment of 10 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine. Social Security fraud carries a maximum punishment of 5 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine. The investigation that produced the search warrants and these indictments is continuing.
- George's Processing Inc. - On June 20, 2007, 28 employees of a southwest Missouri poultry-processing plant were indicted on criminal immigration violations. They were arrested May 22, 2007, at George's Processing Inc., in Butterfield, Mo., after a two-year investigation. During that action, 136 persons were arrested and charged with administrative violations. Of those criminally charged, 27 were charged with aggravated identity theft and falsely claiming to be citizens of the United States in order to gain employment; 18 defendants were charged separately with reentering the United States after having been deported and one was charged with Social Security fraud; 11 are citizens of Mexico and 17 are citizens of Guatemala. Five defendants, citizens of Guatemala or Mexico, were criminally charged earlier in separate cases. Those persons' charges included Social Security fraud and/or making a false claim of U.S. citizenship, aggravated identity theft and being an illegal alien in possession of a firearm.
- El Nopal - On May 10, 2007, ICE arrested 12 illegal aliens employed by two different companies performing contract work at Camp Joseph T. Robinson Army National Guard Base in North Little Rock, Ark. One of the companies who hired the workers was identified as El Nopal, a dining facility contractor and the other did landscape work. All of those arrested are Mexican nationals. They were placed in removal proceedings. The ICE investigation revealed that the majority of the unauthorized workers used fraudulent Social Security and alien registration numbers to complete the required forms to obtain employment.
- Quality Service Integrity, Inc. (QSI) - Twelve defendants pleaded guilty in early May 2007 to fraud and misusing employment documents related to a criminal worksite enforcement investigation against QSI in Beardstown, Ill. Six remaining defendants in the case have been scheduled for trial. Two of those, former managers at QSI's Beardstown operation, are charged with harboring illegal aliens. Each of the defendants was employed by QSI, which provides contractual cleaning and sanitation services for the Cargill pork processing plant in Beardstown. All 18 defendants were previously ordered, or consented to be detained, in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service pending future court appearances. The charges resulted from a criminal worksite enforcement operation conducted on April 4. During that operation, 49 illegal aliens were also administratively arrested.
- Tarrasco Steel - On March 29, 2007, 77 illegal aliens working on construction projects at critical infrastructure sites in four southern states were arrested following a five-month ICE investigation. Many of those arrested worked for Greenville, Miss.-based Tarrasco Steel, owned by Jose S. Gonzalez. Gonzalez allegedly falsified and altered information on I-9 Employee Eligibility Forms. The illegal alien workforce was working on rebuilding the Huey P. Long Bridge in Jefferson Parish, La.; the Mississippi-Arkansas bridge in Greenville, Miss.; the I-40 Seismic retrofit in Memphis, Tenn.; the US-90 bridge in Gulfport, Miss., and the Louisiana 1 bridge in Leeville, La. Gonzalez was arrested August 2, 2007 as part of an ongoing investigation into charges that he hired illegal alien workers from Honduras, Guatemala and Mexico.
- Jones Industrial Network (JIN) - On March 29, 2007, ICE agents executed a criminal search warrant, civil warrants, and conducted consent searches at nine business locations in the Baltimore, Md., area. ICE also seized a bank account belonging to JIN worth more than $636,000 and preliminarily arrested 69 employees and other immigration status violators working at JIN and at companies that contracted with JIN for workers. The criminal search warrant was executed at JIN, a temporary employment agency that contracts with companies in the Baltimore area. Civil warrants were executed at five businesses and consent searches were conducted at three businesses where JIN allegedly provided illegal alien workers. JIN was identified as a company suspected of providing undocumented aliens to work at the Port of Baltimore, a critical infrastructure site and other locations within the greater Baltimore area. The investigation is ongoing.
- Michael Bianco, Inc. - On March 6, 2007, New Bedford, Mass., textile product company owner Francesco Insolia and three other managers were arrested and charged with conspiring to encourage or induce illegal aliens to reside in the United States and conspiring to hire illegal aliens. Another person was charged in a separate complaint with the knowing transfer of fraudulent identification documents. Approximately 320 illegal workers were arrested on administrative charges as part of the operation, representing more than half of the company's workforce. It is alleged that Insolia and other MBI employees working on his behalf knowingly and actively hired illegal aliens to fill an expanding workforce engaged in manufacturing textile products, including contracts with the U.S. Department of Defense. It is alleged that the company was aware that many employees used fraudulent Alien Registration Cards, commonly known as "green cards," and Social Security cards to obtain employment. It is also alleged that MBI management instructed prospective employees on how to obtain such fraudulent documents. Insolia and two managers were indicted August 2, 2007 on the charges for which they were originally arrested. The investigation continues.
- Rosenbaum-Cunningham International - On Feb. 21-22, 2007, three executives of Rosenbaum-Cunningham International, a Florida-based national janitorial services contractor, were charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States and to harbor illegal aliens for profit and evading payment of federal employment taxes. The 23-count indictment charged that they operated a cleaning and grounds-maintenance service that contracted with theme restaurant chains and hospitality venues throughout the United States and staffed the cleaning crews with illegal aliens. By failing to collect and pay federal income, Social Security, Medicare and federal employment taxes on the wages paid to its workforce, RCI was allegedly able to evade payment of over $18.6 million in employment taxes. RCI clients between 2001 and 2005 included House of Blues, Planet Hollywood, Hard Rock Café, Dave and Busters, Yardhouse, ESPN Zone and China Grill. In this worksite enforcement, ICE agents made approximately 196 administrative arrests of illegal workers at more than 64 locations in 18 states and the District of Columbia.
- Swift & Company - On Dec. 12, 2006, more than 1,297 illegal aliens were arrested at Swift meat processing facilities in six states during an enforcement operation that was the result of an investigation of work-related identity theft. Of those arrested, 274 were charged criminally, 129 of them with federal crimes, the others with state crimes. The rest were charged as immigration status violators and were processed for removal. A review of the employment eligibility forms, or I-9s, at Swift facilities nationwide discovered that 30 percent of them were suspected of being fraudulent. A 10-month investigation culminated in search warrants executed at Swift facilities in Greeley, Colo., Grand Island, Neb., Cactus, Texas, Hyrum, Utah, Marshalltown, Iowa, and Worthington, Minn. On July 10, 2007, ICE arrested 20 employees (Swift II) after executing federal and state warrants in six states. The arrests included a human resources employee, a union official, and current or former Swift employees identified by the Federal Trade Commission as suspected identity thieves. The company has not been charged. The investigation is ongoing.
- HVC - On Oct. 12, 2006, Trung Nguyen, a naturalized U.S. citizen, pleaded guilty to bringing in and harboring certain aliens, mail fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy and money laundering. On March 14, 2007, ICE agents obtained a Final Order of Forfeiture in the Northern District of Ohio. The property, which has approximately $100,000 in equity, is owned by Nguyen, a company official for HV CONNECT, Inc. (HVC). HVC was a temporary employment agency based in Ohio and operated in Ohio and Pennsylvania, where it contracted with 16 companies to supply temporary workers. HVC, both in written contracts and on HVC's website, falsely represented to client companies that employees had authorization to work in the United States. The investigation revealed most of these employees were illegally present and did not possess employment authorization. HVC further provided housing and transportation to the unauthorized employees and assisted them in obtaining fraudulent permanent resident cards, Social Security cards, driver's licenses, and other identification documents. The investigation has resulted in the arrest of 33 illegal aliens unlawfully employed through HVC. HVC had earned over $5.3 million for supplying the illegal labor force.
- Garcia Labor Companies/ABX Air - On Oct. 3, 2006, two temporary labor companies, as well as Maximo Garcia, the president of these companies, and two other corporate officers, pleaded guilty in Ohio to conspiring to provide hundreds of illegal aliens to work for ABX Air, a national air cargo company. The three individuals pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to induce, aid and abet illegal aliens to reside or remain in the United States for the purpose of commercial advantage or private financial gain. Garcia agreed to forfeit $12 million as part of the plea agreement. They each face up to ten years in prison and a fine of $250,000. The Social Security Administration issued a number of notices in 2002, 2003 and 2004 in which hundreds of Hispanic workers employed by Garcia Labor were listed as using invalid Social Security numbers. Despite such notices, Garcia Labor continued to employ these workers and took no substantive action to determine whether they were authorized to work in the United States.
- Kentucky Limited Liability Corporations - On July 20, 2006, two corporations in Kentucky pleaded guilty to criminal charges of harboring illegal aliens and money laundering in connection with a scheme that provided illegal workers to Holiday Inn, Days Inn and other hotels in Kentucky. As part of the plea, Asha Ventures, LLC, and Narayan, LLC, agreed to pay $1.5 million in lieu of forfeiture and to create internal compliance programs. Through their agents, the companies employed numerous illegal aliens at hotels in London, Ky., who were often paid by check made payable to fictitious cleaning companies. On Oct. 20, 2006, Ventures and Narayan were sentenced in the Eastern District of Kentucky to one year supervised probation and each company was fined $75,000.
- Fischer Homes and subcontractors - On July 7, 2006, Alfredo Medina-Mejia and Leopoldo Medina pleaded guilty to criminal charges of harboring illegal aliens. Both men worked as subcontractors who provided illegal workers to Fischer Homes construction sites in Kentucky. The guilty pleas resulted from operations conducted on May 9, 2006, in which ICE agents arrested four supervisors of Fischer Homes and 85 illegal alien workers at Fischer Homes construction sites in Kentucky. Fischer Homes is a leading builder of homes in Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio. The Fischer Homes managers are charged with aiding, abetting and harboring illegal aliens. On May 11, several contractors and contract firms that allegedly provided illegal workers for Fischer Homes construction sites were indicted on charges of harboring illegal aliens in connection with the scheme.
- Stucco Design Inc. - On May 2, 2006, Robert Porcisanu, the owner of an Indiana business that performed stucco-related services at construction sites in seven Midwest states, was charged with money laundering, harboring illegal aliens, transporting illegal aliens and making false statements in connection with an illegal employment scheme. Porcisanu faces 40 years in prison. ICE is also seeking the forfeiture of $1.5 million. His firm was allegedly able to undercut the bids of contractors to perform work at construction sites by taking advantage of cheap labor costs from the use of illegal alien employees. On Nov. 30, 2006, Stucco Design, Inc., pleaded guilty in the District of North Dakota to one count of harboring illegal aliens. In conjunction with the plea agreement, Stucco Design Inc. agreed to forfeit $1.5 million in company bank accounts and $60,000 in accounts receivable.
- IFCO Systems North America - On April 19, 2006, ICE agents arrested seven current and former managers of IFCO Systems North America in Albany, N.Y., charging them with harboring illegal aliens for financial gain. ICE agents also apprehended 1,187 of the firm's illegal alien employees with search warrants or in consent searches executed at more than 40 IFCO locations nationwide. On Feb. 27, 2007, five current and former managers at IFCO Corporation pleaded guilty in the Northern District of New York to violations relating to the employment of illegal alien workers. The former IFCO general manager pleaded guilty to conspiracy to transport and harbor illegal aliens and possession of identification documents. The former corporate new market development manager pleaded guilty to conspiracy to transport and harbor illegal aliens. The IFCO general manager and assistant general manager pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor offense of unlawful employment of illegal aliens. The former IFCO assistant general manager pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit the misdemeanor offense of unlawful employment of illegal aliens. All five are U.S. citizens.