OCAHO levies $173K fine on drywall company for I-9 violations

"KDS is directed to pay penalties totalling $173,250.00." USA v. Ketchikan Drywall Services, Inc., Aug. 11, 2011 .

Lessons from Ketchikan

"Recently, the Department of Justice, Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (OCAHO) published a precedent decision ( United States of America v. Ketchikan Drywall Services, Inc. ) regarding liability for Form I-9 mistakes and omissions. As with previous such cases, the decision...

More Lessons from Ketchikan

"Today, we’ll wrap up our review of the Ketchikan case and provide some takeaways for organizations that are ready to clean their I-9 house." - John Fay, Oct. 31, 2011 .

I-9 bust at Mich. dairy farm leads to probation for owners, almost $3M in fines

"The owners of Aquila Farms, LLC, were sentenced Tuesday to three years of probation and ordered to pay fines totaling $234,000 for hiring [unauthorized] aliens and aiding and abetting each other to do so. The convictions were the result of an investigation conducted by U.S. Immigration and...

OCAHO on I-9 violations: Alyn Industries

"The complainant’s motion for summary decision is granted as to liability, and granted as modified with respect to penalties. Alyn Industries, Inc. is directed to pay a total of $43,000 in civil money penalties. All other pending motions are denied. The parties are free to negotiate a payment...

ICE delivers hefty fines for I-9 paperwork errors; a 'money grab'

"Mike Weir remembers the summer day that federal immigration agents came to his small lightning protection company nestled among cow pastures in Katy and asked to review all of his company's hiring paperwork. Weir said he knew what auditors would soon discover - that zero of his roughly...

Wash. Herb Grower Fined $1M for Knowingly Hiring Unauthorized Workers; Company Hired and Concealed Workers During I-9 Audit

"A Washington-based supplier of fresh organic herbs to nearly 2,700 grocers was sentenced Tuesday to $1 million in criminal fines and probation for hiring [unauthorized] aliens...'In the midst of an I-9 administrative audit, HerbCo hired and concealed unauthorized workers,' said Brad...

Negotiate with ICE – Reduce Those I-9 Fines!

"If none of your clients have received a Notice of Intent to Fine (NIF), congratulations! When you do receive your first NIF from a client or a potential client, the process can be overwhelming for the client and for you as counsel. If you are retained at the NIF stage as attorney (as we have on...

OCAHO Cuts I-9 Fine in Half: Siam Thai Sushi Restaurant

"ICE’s memorandum states that the baseline penalty was set at $935 for each I-9 because the violations involved 100% of Siam Thai’s workforce. ICE said it then mitigated the penalties by 5% each because of the small size of the employer and the absence of any unauthorized workers, but...

OCAHO Reduces I-9 Fine from $10.7K to $4.5K - USA v. New Star

"For a fledgling “mom and pop” restaurant with only ten employees and a payroll totaling only $84,147 for the calendar year 2010, moreover, the proposed penalty appears unduly harsh as well as disproportionate to the size and the status of the employer. As explained in Pegasus, 10 OCAHO...

OCAHO Reduces I-9 Fine from $41K to $9K; ICE Must Specify Violations: USA v. Super 8

"In order to establish liability for a particular violation, it is first necessary for the government to state with specificity what the violation is. See United States v. Stanford Sign and Awning, Inc., 10 OCAHO no. 1145, 7 (2012). ICE was accordingly directed after the prehearing conference to...

OCAHO Cuts I-9 Fines in Half; La Tolteca; Red Coach

In two Aug. 7, 2013 restaurant cases, OCAHO reduced the I-9 fines roughly by half: From $36K to $16K - USA v. NEW SUN TRANSIT, INC. D/B/A ) LA TOLTECA MEXICAN RESTAURANT From $30K to $16K - USA v. THE RED COACH RESTAURANT, INC.

OCAHO Slashes I-9 Fine from $14,960 to $6,400: Mr. Mike's Pizza

"The penalty proposed nevertheless appears excessive in light of the record as a whole. Mr. Mike’s is a very small business, and the parties do not dispute that the restaurant is struggling. There is no suggestion that the company acted in bad faith to avoid the requirements of the law, and...

OCAHO Reduces I-9 Fine from $26.8K to $10K - Natural Environmental

"The government requests penalties at the rate of $1075.25 for each violation, an amount that falls short of the maximum permissible by only $24.75. Our case law suggests, however, that penalties so close to the maximum should be reserved for violations more egregious than have been shown here....

OCAHO Reduces I-9 Fine from $70.9K to $23.7K: Platinum Builders

"The penalty requested here, $1028.50 for each violation, is only $71.50 short of the maximum permissible. Our case law, however, has often observed that penalties approaching the maximum should be reserved for the most egregious violations. See United States v. Fowler Equip. Co., 10 OCAHO no. 1169...

U.S. to Hit Infosys With Record Immigration Fine

"The federal government is set to slap Infosys Ltd. with the largest immigration fine ever, claiming the Indian outsourcing giant illegally placed workers on visitor, rather than work, visas at big corporate clients across the U.S. The government is expected to announce Wednesday it will fine...

OCAHO Reduces I-9 Fine from $15.8K to $7.4K: U.S.A. v. Metropolitan Warehouse

"Proportionality is essential in setting penalties, Pegasus, 10 OCAHO no. 1143 at 7. The goal is to reach a result that is sufficiently meaningful to accomplish the purpose of deterring future violations, United States v. Jonel, Inc., 8 OCAHO no. 1008, 175, 201 (1998), without being “unduly...

OCAHO Reduces I-9 Fine from $265K to $89K: USA v. Two For Seven, LLC

"ICE has requested a penalty of $935 per violation, totaling $264,605 for two hundred eighty-three violations. ... ICE’s proposed fine, moreover, amounts to more than half of the company’s income for 2011, an excessive fine for a relatively small business located in an economically depressed...

No Reduction of Fine in Latest OCAHO I-9 Case: USA v. Symmetric Solutions ($77K)

"The government’s motion contends that it is entitled to summary decision as to both counts, as well as to penalties totaling $77,000. ... [W]hile I do not necessarily concur with all aspects of the government’s rationale, Symmetric has pointed to no reason for reducing the penalties...

OCAHO Reduces I-9 Fine from $22K to $9K: USA v. New Outlook Homecare

"The total penalty sought was $21,598.50. ... Given the nature of the business and considering the record as a whole in light of the general public policy of leniency toward small entities set out in the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. § 601 et seq. (2006), amended by § 223(a) of...

OCAHO Reduces I-9 Fine from $332.8K to $228.3K: USA v. M&D Masonry, Inc.

"[C]onsideration of the record as a whole persuades me that the principle of proportionality would be better served by adjusting the penalties to an amount that is still near the higher end of the mid-range, but somewhat lower than the $981.75 sought by the government. Penalties so close to the...

OCAHO Reduces I-9 Fine by One-Third: USA v. Senox

[Full disclosure: my client, my case.] "The penalties [ICE sought] were then aggravated based on the large size of the company, but the remaining factors were treated neutrally, so the final rate was $981.75 for each violation, or a total of $66,759. ICE’s forensic auditor considered Senox...

OCAHO Reduces I-9 Fine from $114K to $58K: USA v. Golf International

"This is an action pursuant to the employer sanctions provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), as amended by the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA), 8 U.S.C. § 1324a (2012), in which the United States Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement...

OCAHO Reduces I-9 Fine by Half: USA v. Jalisco's Bar & Grill, Inc.

"This is an action pursuant to the employer sanctions provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), as amended by the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA), 8 U.S.C. § 1324a (2012), in which the United States Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement...

OCAHO Reduces I-9 Fine from $15.4K to $6.7K: USA v. Clean Sweep

"This is an action pursuant to the employer sanctions provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), as amended by the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA), 8 U.S.C. § 1324a (2012), in which the United States Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement...