LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
In Latest OCAHO Boondoggle, ICE Extracts $5,400 I-9 Fine from Dentist - USA v. Robert Schaus, D.D.S.

No unauthorized aliens were found in this ICE I-9 audit. The dental office is a sole proprietorship with no previous immigration violations. ICE wanted $10,030 in fines. OCAHO cut it back to $5,400. How many tax dollars were spent on this boondoggle, including ICE investigator salaries and OCAHO salaries...

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 Penalty from $187K to $97K: USA v. Speedy Gonzalez Construction, Inc.

"The government originally sought $192,843.75 for the 185 violations alleged, but modified its request in light of the fact that six of its allegations were not proved. ICE now seeks $186,859.75 for the 179 violations actually found. ... In addition to the record as a whole and the statutory factors...

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...

2014 Form I-9 Penalty Trends from OCAHO Decisions - Bruce Buchanan

"In 2014, there were significantly fewer decisions issued by Office of Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (OCAHO) related to potential I-9 violations than in 2013. There were only 17 decisions in 2014 while there were 30 decisions in 2013. (A few employers had two or more decisions rendered on...

OCAHO Cuts I-9 Fine in Half: USA v. Horno

"The United States Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE or the government) filed a two-count complaint alleging that Horno MSJ, Ltd. Company (Horno or the company) engaged in thirty-two violations of 8 U.S.C. § 1324a(a)(1)(B). Count I alleged that Horno...

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 on Citizenship Discrimination: USA v. Estopy Farms

"Jerry Estopy and Manuel Bortoni d.b.a. Estopy Farms simply passed over a qualified U.S. citizen in favor of hiring temporary H-2A workers from Mexico. ... [N]othing in this forum’s governing statute or regulations mandates that a U.S. citizen be afforded any preference over an equally qualified...

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 on Employees vs. Independent Contractors: USA v. Saidabror Siddikov ("We do not live in a binary world...")

"The United States Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE or the government) filed a complaint alleging that Saidabror Siddikov d/b/a Beyond Cleaning Services (BCS or respondent) failed to prepare, retain, or present I-9 forms for Abdurashid Abdullaev, Bogdan Garasemyuk...

OCAHO Cuts I-9 Fine in Half: USA v. Holtsville

"Count I of the Complaint alleges that the company hired twenty-seven individuals for whom it failed to prepare and/or present Employment Eligibility Verification Forms (Forms I-9) and assesses a fine of $26,554. Count II of the Complaint alleges that the company failed to ensure proper completion...

OCAHO Lowers I-9 Fine from $110K to $76K: USA v. Buffalo Transportation

"ICE’s motion for summary decision is granted in part pursuant to 28 C.F.R. § 68.38, and respondent’s penalty assessment is reduced to a fine in the mid-range of penalty amounts based on the presence of differing degrees of serious violations and mitigating factors present in this...

OCAHO: Attorney's 'Cavalier Approach' Has Consequences - USA v. Quickstuff

USA v. Quickstuff, 11 OCAHO no. 1265, Nov. 24, 2015 - "The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE or the government) filed a complaint with the Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (OCAHO) on July 2, 2015, alleging that Quickstuff, LLC (Quickstuff...

OCAHO Slashes I-9 Fine from $74.5K to $29.6K - USA v. SKZ Harvesting

USA v. SKZ Harvesting, Inc., 11 OCAHO no. 1266, Feb. 8, 2016 - "Considering the record as a whole and the statutory factors in particular, as well as the general public policy of leniency toward small entities as set out in the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act § 601, the penalties...

OCAHO on Unfair Immigration-Related Discrimination: Chellouf v. IAUPR

Chellouf v. IAUPR, Feb. 24, 2016, published Mar. 3, 2016 - "There are no winners in this case. Chellouf has lost a fine professional position at which from all reports she excelled. The university has lost a valued faculty member for whom it appears IAUPR has had great difficulty finding a capable...

OCAHO Reduces I-9 Fine from $35K to $18K: USA v. Safe-Air of Illinois

USA v. Safe-Air of Illinois, Mar. 11, 2016 - "The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE or the government) filed a complaint in three counts with the Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (OCAHO) on January 14, 2015, alleging that Safe-Air of...

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...

OCAHO Reduces I-9 Fine from $305.5K to $209.6K - Golden Employment II

Golden Employment II, May 4, 2016 - "On April 1, 2016, a partial summary decision was entered in the matter finding that Golden Employment Group, Inc. (Golden Employment or the company) was liable for 465 violations of the employment eligibility verification provisions of 8 U.S.C. § 1324a(b...

2015 OCAHO Decisions re I-9 Penalties - Bruce E. Buchanan

Bruce E. Buchanan, May 3, 2016 - "An analysis of the ... numbers demonstrates OCAHO lowered ICE’s proposed penalties on average by 32.8%. ICE sought $1,877,796 while OCAHO ordered $1,200,772. These reductions were substantially less than in 2014 and 2013, when the reductions were 35.25% and...

OCAHO Reduces I-9 Fine from $36K to $14.5K - USA v. Cawoods Produce

USA v. Cawoods Produce - "” ICE assessed a total fine of $36,465 for all three Counts. ... ICE is not entitled to summary decision as to its penalty assessment. Pursuant to well-established OCAHO case law, all of Cawoods’ substantive violations are considered serious and should aggravate...

OCAHO Reduces I-9 Fine from $38K to $18K - USA v. East Coast Foods

USA v. East Coast Foods, June 21, 2016 - "The government met its burden of proving that East Coast Foods, Inc., is liable for thirty-six violations of 8 U.S.C. § 1324a(a)(1)(B). The company is therefore directed to pay civil money penalties in the total amount of $18,350."