The French Gourmet, Inc. was recently indicted for knowingly hired undocumented workers. The bakery and its owners are charged with 14 felony accounts including making false statements and shielding undocumented aliens from detection. The owners received “no match letters” from the Social Security Administration, but continued to pay the workers in cash. The employee and payroll records of the French Gourmet were seized and the owners face up to 5 years in prison and $250,000 fines.
This and other recent indictments demonstrate that ICE is using its vastly increased fraud budget for more work site audits and investigations and then punishing employers that violate immigration laws. This reiterates how important it is for businesses to ensure that their I-9’s are properly completed and that they comply with immigration laws. If in doubt of its obligations employers should contact an immigration attorney before ICE comes knocking. A simple call now can prevent a catastrophe later.