LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
OCAHO Slashes I-9 Fine from $14,960 to $6,400: Mr. Mike's Pizza

"The penalty proposed nevertheless appears excessive in light of the record as a whole. Mr. Mike’s is a very small business, and the parties do not dispute that the restaurant is struggling. There is no suggestion that the company acted in bad faith to avoid the requirements of the law, and...

OCAHO Reduces I-9 Fine from $26.8K to $10K - Natural Environmental

"The government requests penalties at the rate of $1075.25 for each violation, an amount that falls short of the maximum permissible by only $24.75. Our case law suggests, however, that penalties so close to the maximum should be reserved for violations more egregious than have been shown here....

OCAHO Reduces I-9 Fine from $70.9K to $23.7K: Platinum Builders

"The penalty requested here, $1028.50 for each violation, is only $71.50 short of the maximum permissible. Our case law, however, has often observed that penalties approaching the maximum should be reserved for the most egregious violations. See United States v. Fowler Equip. Co., 10 OCAHO no. 1169...

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...

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...

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...

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 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...

OCAHO Cuts I-9 Fine in Half: USA v. McPeek Racing Stables

"Count I alleges that McPeek failed to prepare I-9s for sixty-two employees within three business days of their respective dates of hire and/or failed to present I-9s for them upon request by the government. Count II alleges that the company failed to ensure that thirty-seven employees properly...

OCAHO Reduces I-9 Fine from $157K to $64K: USA v. Niche, Inc.

"ICE argues that a penalty assessment of $888.25 per violation, and a total penalty of $157,220.25 is objectively reasonable given the totality of the circumstances. ... ... Niche’s contracts with the U.S. military were responsible for its rapid financial growth, which also appears to serve...

OCAHO Reduces I-9 Fine from $54K to $27K - USA v. PM Packaging

"[t]he proposed penalty of $53,762.50 is close to the maximum permissible of $55,000. Our case law consistently holds that penalties so close to the maximum should be reserved for more egregious violations than have been demonstrated here. See United States v. Fowler Equip. Co., 10 OCAHO no. 1169...

OCAHO Sets I-9 Fine at $605K for 'Motivation to Conform' - USA v. Hartmann Studios

"ICE is entitled to summary decision as to liability for 808 violations. OCAHO case law has emphasized that penalties should have a deterrent effect on an employer’s behavior and not merely be a cost of doing business. Emp’r Solutions, 11 OCAHO no. 1242 at 11 (“[A] penalty cannot...

OCAHO Reduces I-9 Fine from $16K to $10.5K - USA v. Frio County Partners, Inc.

USA v. Frio County Partners, Inc., Apr. 22, 2016 - "ICE charged FCP with failing to ensure proper completion of section 1 of the Employee Eligibility Verification Form I-9 and/or failing to properly complete section 2 or section 3 of the Form I-9 for eighteen employees. ICE assessed a total penalty...