Contractor I-9 Compliance Failure Leads to Jail time for North Texas CFO
The CFO of Speed Fab-Crete, Robert James, was fined $69,000 and sentenced to three months in prison for allegedly employing and harboring unauthorized workers. According to the ICE news release, James allegedly signed payment authorization documents for the unauthorized workers in the form of invoices from Take Charge Staffing. The concrete company this CFO worked for, Speed Fab Crete, entered into a non-prosecution agreement and agreed to forfeit $3 million to the US Government over alleged unauthorized workers. Additionally, the ICE news release stated the workers were terminated by the company, but then some of them were hired by a staffing agency that placed the workers back at the concrete company.
ICE states intention to pursue employers
Special Agent Ryan Spradlin stated that this was “only one of more sentencings to come.” Concrete companies in particular have been targets of these type of investigations, but all companies should make sure they are in compliance with Federal laws. The special agent in charge of Dallas Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) stated that employers should view this case as a warning, and that “you can not only expect a hefty fine, but a prison sentence as well.”
Employers should know who they are responsible for and check their compliance procedures
Employers should be aware that they can be held responsible for all workers who may be on their premises or on their job sites, including employees of staffing agencies, employees of contractors, and 1099s. Having a set of compliance plans, policies, and procedures that have been evaluated by a business immigration attorney is the best way for employers to protect themselves from ICE investigations. Assessing current risk with an internal audit, reviewing current policies, and auditing I-9s and contractor agreements are important steps to remain in compliance.
We recommend reviewing and updating contractor agreements to ensure contractors are complying with US Immigration laws regarding providing authorized labor.
Employers should adopt plans, policies, and procedures based on ICE Best Practices, including using E-Verify, conducting annual I-9 audits, training, ensuring contractor compliance agreements are in place, and other practices to make sure the employer is correcting hiring practices moving forward.
Business Immigration Attorney
MDIVANI CORPORATE IMMIGRATION LAW FIRM
NOT LEGAL ADVICE: This article is for educational purposes only, it is not legal advice that may be applicable to our situation
The information provided here does not constitute legal advice. It is general information regarding law and policy that may be applicable to your particular HR issue or legal problem. Information provided in this blog, or any of our other public posts, does not create an attorney-client relationship. For specific advice you can rely upon, please contact your attorney.