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Immigration Law

OCAHO Levies $136K Penalty for I-9 Violations

USA v. Psychosomatic Fitness

"[T]he parties do not dispute that Respondents violated 8 U.S.C. § 1324a(1)(B). At issue before the Court is the appropriate penalty in this case. ... [T]he Court notes with concern that Respondents provided a distribution in 2019, knowing they were in violation of § 1324a and knowing they would be responsible for a civil penalty. Additionally, in 2020, Respondents issued member draws of over $150,000 while Complainant’s investigation and this litigation were both pending. Draining funds from a business just before a civil penalty is imposed should not be rewarded with a mitigated civil penalty, in fact, equity considerations demand the opposite. ... Respondents are liable for 22 violations in Count I, and 88 violations in Count II. After considering the statutory and non-statutory factors and the totality of the evidence, the undersigned finds that Complainant’s proposed penalty should be adjusted. The penalty amount for the violations in Count I is $22,000. The penalty amount for the violations in Count II is $114,400. Respondents are directed to pay civil penalties in the total amount of $136,400."