The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) successfully raided as many
as fifteen (15) 7-Eleven stores throughout New York and Virginia on Monday
morning. The Huffington Post reported “The raids are a part of
an investigation into human smuggling, identity theft and money
laundering.” The store owners were
arrested on charges of hiring and harboring undocumented immigrants as well as
wire fraud and possessing and using fake Social Security numbers used to pay
While Federal authorities seized
fifteen (15) stores throughout the Long Island and Virginia area, The New York Times reported that “Immigration and
Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents and federal prosecutors in Brooklyn were also
investigating forty (40) other 7-Eleven franchises in New York City and
elsewhere.” This is one of the largest
criminal immigration employment investigations conducted in Justice Department (DOJ) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) history.
The nine store owners and managers
were charged with hiring more than fifty (50) illegal immigrants, providing
them with more than twenty (20) stolen identity information from United States
citizens and stealing substantial portions of their wages. Officials reported to the New York Times that the fraudulent activities
have been going on since 2000, during that time the chain of 7-Eleven stores
have generated more than $182 million in revenue in stealing wages from illegal
immigrant workers and document fraud.
The New York State Police initiated the case two years ago when a
7-Eleven employee reported to the police that he wasn’t being paid for his
work, while another worker later contacted the Suffolk County Police regarding
the same issue.
and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
has placed a high priority on all cases and investigations relating to hiring
illegal workers and fraudulent documents, moving away from high-profile
workplace raids for illegal immigrant deportation. ICE agents are relying on audits of
employers’ hiring records to detect the hiring of illegal and undocumented
immigrants within company workplaces.
7-Eleven, Inc. stated that it “will take aggressive actions to audit the
employment status of all its franchisees’ employees” based on the investigation
and raids conducted by ICE agents.
Companies who fail to
take proactive and preventative measures to ensure the employment eligibility
status of their entire workforce are at the greatest risk of an ICE audit. If your company hasn’t recently conducted an
audit of all historical I-9 records or is unsure of the employment eligibility
of its employees, contact Form I-9 Compliance, LLC today at 1.866.359.4949 to speak with our subject-matter experts.
Labels: Department of Homeland Security, department of justice, DHS, ICE, ICE investigation, ICE raid, immigration and customs enforcement