ICE, Apr. 4, 2012: "The president of a Sierra Vista drywall company was sentenced
Thursday to one year of probation and ordered to pay fines totaling
$450,000 following a probe by U.S. Immigration and Customs
Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) that
revealed the business employed illegal aliens.
Ivan T. Hardt, 45, of Cananea, Mexico, the president of Sun Drywall
and Stucco, Inc., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Raner C. Collins.
As part of a plea agreement, Hardt also agreed to pay $225,000 in
restitution to the U.S. Department of Labor for overtime back wages
owed under the Fair Standards Act and an additional administrative
forfeiture of $225,000 to ICE. To date, Hardt has paid the full amount
owed in restitution and $75,000 of the forfeiture agreement.
"Today's sentence should serve as a warning to employers who
knowingly circumvent our nation's hiring laws," said Matt Allen,
special agent in charge of HSI Arizona. "Hiring unlawful workers not
only fuels illegal immigration and perpetuates a shadow economy, but it
negatively impacts job opportunities for our nation's lawful work
force. HSI will continue to work with our partners at the U.S.
Attorney's Office to aggressively investigate and prosecute these cases
and hold such employers accountable."
Hardt was arrested following a 16-month HSI Arizona investigation
into the company's hiring practices that determined Sun Drywall had
employed at least 27 illegal aliens and the company did not present
employment documents when asked during a federal inspection.
Sun Drywall also pleaded guilty to unlawful employment of aliens and
the company was sentenced to five years of probation. Under the
probation terms, the company cannot knowingly hire, recruit or employ
illegal aliens and is required to maintain employment verification
forms for each employee. The company also agreed to waive the three-day
notice requirement for federal inspection of employee files during the