LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
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...

Arizona Golf Club Liable for 129 Form I-9 Violations: USA v. Golf International

"Golf International d.b.a. Desert Canyon Golf is liable for a total of 129 violations of 8 U.S.C. § 1324a(a)(1)(B). ... Liability is established for all the violations alleged in the complaint. ICE may have until April 16, 2014 to file its penalty request and Golf’s response may be filed...

OCAHO Slaps ICE for Overreaching: USA v. Crescent City Meat Co., Inc.

"Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE or the government) filed a complaint alleging that Crescent City Meat Company, Inc. (Crescent City or the company) violated 8 U.S.C. § 1324a(a)(1)(B) by failing to prepare, retain, and/or present I-9 forms for fifteen employees. The total penalty sought...

OCAHO Reduces I-9 Fine from $90K to $25K: USA v. Century Hotels

"Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE or the government) filed a four-count complaint alleging that Century Hotels Corporation, d.b.a. Scottsdale Thunderbird Suites (Century or the company) engaged in ninety-one violations of 8 U.S.C. § 1324a(a)(1)(B). ... The total penalty sought was ...

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...

OHAHO on Discovery, Protective Orders: USA v. Durable, Inc.

"Prehearing procedures are ongoing. Shortly before the close of discovery, Durable filed a motion for a protective order addressed to certain of the interrogatories and requests for production that ICE had propounded to the company. The government filed a timely response, captioned as both a response...

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...

OCAHO Cuts I-9 Penalty in Half: USA v. Romans Racing Stables, Inc.

"ICE’s motion seeks summary decision as to liability and the imposition of penalties totaling $150,535 . The government acknowledges that RRS is a small business with no history of previous violations, and does not contend that the company acted in bad faith, but does argue that the penalties...

OCAHO Hits I-9 Second Offender With $330K Fine: USA v. Durable, Inc.

"The government’s complaint was accompanied by various attachments, among which were a NIF previously issued to Durable, Inc. on November 23, 1988, and a settlement agreement the company entered with legacy Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) on March 3, 1989 resolving the 1988 NIF...

OCAHO Cuts I-9 Penalty in Half: Mott Thoroughbred Stables, Inc.

"ICE’s motion seeks summary decision as to liability and the imposition of penalties totaling $68,161.50. ... ICE’s proposed penalties computed at the rate of $841.50 for each violation amount to more than three quarters of the maximum permissible, and penalties at this level are ordinarily...

How Much Money Did DOJ (EOIR) and DHS (ICE) Spend to Collect This $500 I-9 Fine?

A small convenience store in Maine failed to prepare I-9 forms for two employees, both related to the owner and known to be U.S. citizens. In the end, OCAHO levied a fine of $500. Do the rough math, totaling up the per diem salaries of the ICE investigators, plus the per diem salaries of the OCAHO judge...

In Latest OCAHO Boondoggle, ICE Extracts $5,400 I-9 Fine from Dentist - USA v. Robert Schaus, D.D.S.

No unauthorized aliens were found in this ICE I-9 audit. The dental office is a sole proprietorship with no previous immigration violations. ICE wanted $10,030 in fines. OCAHO cut it back to $5,400. How many tax dollars were spent on this boondoggle, including ICE investigator salaries and OCAHO salaries...

OCAHO Reduced I-9 Fine from $168K to $22K - USA v. Foothill Packing, Inc.

"The amended complaint asserts in Count I that Foothill hired 382 individuals for whom the company either failed to ensure each employee properly completed section 1 of Form I-9 or failed itself to properly complete section 2 or 3 of the form. Count II as amended states that Foothill hired Luis...

OCAHO Greenlights UPL in I-9 Fights: USA v. Chen's Wilmington

Moral of the story: When ICE raids your I-9 files, hire an attorney. Based on published OCAHO cases, you may have the penalty reduced by 50% or more. Otherwise, if you go it alone - or rely on your 'accountant' - you may end up in Ms. Chen's shoes, paying 100% of the proposed ICE penalty...

MN Staffing Company Hit With $227K I-9 Fine: USA v. Employer Solutions

Noteworthy : "The parties do not dispute, and the record clearly reflects, that ESSG II’s standard operating procedure was for its personnel in Edina, Minnesota to sign the section 2 attestation after reviewing copies of the employees’ documents without ever seeing the individuals whose...

OCAHO Reduces I-9 Penalty from $187K to $97K: USA v. Speedy Gonzalez Construction, Inc.

"The government originally sought $192,843.75 for the 185 violations alleged, but modified its request in light of the fact that six of its allegations were not proved. ICE now seeks $186,859.75 for the 179 violations actually found. ... In addition to the record as a whole and the statutory factors...

OCAHO Reduces I-9 Fine from $19.3K to $11.7K - USA v. Liberty Packaging

"ICE is entitled to summary decision as to liability for eighteen violations. As to the penalties, there are both mitigating and aggravating factors. While Liberty is a small employer with no history of previous violations and the unauthorized status of the five individuals listed in the NSD was...

2014 Form I-9 Penalty Trends from OCAHO Decisions - Bruce Buchanan

"In 2014, there were significantly fewer decisions issued by Office of Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (OCAHO) related to potential I-9 violations than in 2013. There were only 17 decisions in 2014 while there were 30 decisions in 2013. (A few employers had two or more decisions rendered on...

OCAHO Cuts I-9 Fine in Half: USA v. Horno

"The United States Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE or the government) filed a two-count complaint alleging that Horno MSJ, Ltd. Company (Horno or the company) engaged in thirty-two violations of 8 U.S.C. § 1324a(a)(1)(B). Count I alleged that Horno...