DOL Wage & Hour Investigates Extortion Against Immigrants in Florida

DOL Wage & Hour Investigates Extortion Against Immigrants in Florida

"Given the facts that the Wage and Hour Division has preliminary established during its investigation of the employer, there is reason to believe that Mr. Barreno, and others like him, were victims of witness tampering under 18 U.S.c. Section 1512 and of extortion under Florida Statute 836.05. ... Waste Pro's management threatened to call immigration concerning Mr. Barreno's lack of work authorization if he refused to participate in the schemes instituted by officials to kick back payments to management officials. These threats intimidated Mr. Barreno and compelled him to pay management officials. It is evident that the elements for extortion under Florida law were present. ... Mr. Barreno's cooperation with the Department of Labor has led to a full investigation of Waste Pro, including a number of possible violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act such as retaliation and overtime violations. He has spoken at length to the Wage and Hour Division and has provided detailed information that is proving useful to the agency in uncovering what is purportedly systemic fraud and abuse by the employer and/or its agents. Based on this evidence provided by Mr. Barreno, Wage and Hour is investigating Waste Pro for several violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act, including overtime and retaliation violations." - I-918 Supplement B Certified by DOL, Nov. 2013.

Report by Aura Bogado here.