Immigration Law

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 Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).  Johannes Martinus Verhaar and Anthonia Marjanne Verhaar both pleaded guilty to the charges on June 28, 2011.  The company, Aquila Farms, LLC, a dairy operation based in Bad Axe, Mich., also pleaded guilty to harboring [unauthorized] aliens. The company encouraged or induced an alien to come to, enter or reside in the United States for commercial advantage or private financial gain knowing it was in violation of the law.  Aquila Farms was sentenced to probation for five years, ordered to pay a fine of $500,000 and required to make payments totaling $2,000,000 in lieu of forfeiture." - ICE, Nov. 8, 2011.