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I-9 E-Verify Immigration Compliance

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  1. Asplundh Manager & Supervisors Charged with hiring Undocumented Workers

    By: Bruce Buchanan, Sebelist Buchanan Law, PLLC

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    Federal prosecutors charged three managers/supervisors of Asplundh Tree Expert Inc. with conspiring to hire undocumented workers using false identification and Social Security numbers. Asplundh, a nationwide company, removes brush and vegetation from electric and gas lines.

    In 2009, Asplundh had their I-9 forms audited by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The ICE audit determined over 100 employees were undocumented; thus, Asplundh fired the employees.

    After the ICE audit of Asplundh’s I-9 forms, prosecutors allege workers, fired for being undocumented, were rehired under false identities. Larry Gauger, a regional manager charged with conspiracy, "instructed management that it would have 'plausible deniability' as to the fraudulent hiring because even though the employees' Social Security numbers did not truly belong to these employees, the employees' proffered Social Security numbers would be positive matches in the E-Verify database." Jude Solis and Juan Rodriguez, supervisors for Asplundh, were also charged with conspiracy and fraud.

    These indictments are clear proof that knowingly hiring undocumented workers can have criminal consequences. This is especially so when you assist the undocumented workers to obtain fake ID.
  2. President of Company Charged with H-1B Visa Fraud

    By: Bruce Buchanan, Sebelist Buchanan Law

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    Raina Massey, the head of Newark-based Care Worldwide Inc., has been charged with wire fraud, visa fraud and identity theft after she allegedly conducted a multifaceted illegal immigration scheme from February 2012 to March 2015. Massey has pled not guilty to the charges.

    Massey sought foreign individuals to allegedly work on H-1B visas in clinical research jobs for Care Worldwide, however, the company was just a shell operation, and the jobs advertised by Massey didn't exist.

    Several sets of victims were purportedly impacted by the scheme. One group of victims allegedly took part in "benching," in which Massey falsely indicated the victims would have technical positions waiting for them. Due to “technical problems”, Massey assigned them to menial tasks, such as handing out fliers on street corners. For other victims, Massey never applied for H-1B visas but still took illegal payments from them.

    Each wire fraud count has a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, while the visa fraud count has a top penalty of 10 years. Massey’s arrest comes after an Administrative Law Judge for the U.S. Department of Labor ordered Care Worldwide to pay $291,708 to two H-1B employees after finding that the company and its president “benched” both of the workers.
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