95 Million Dollar Fine

95 Million Dollar Fine

From Wall Street Journal

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A Pennsylvania-based tree-trimming company was ordered to pay $95 million in the largest fine against a company for hiring thousands of immigrants who didn’t have permission to work in the U.S., according to federal officials.

Asplundh Tree Expert of Willow Grove, Pa., pleaded guilty in federal court in Philadelphia on Thursday to illegally hiring the immigrants. Some of the immigrants were in the U.S. illegally, none had authorization to work in the country, according to court documents.

A federal judge ordered the family-owned company to pay $80 million and adhere to an Administrative Compliance Agreement from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE. The details of the agreement weren’t made public.

In a separate civil settlement, ICE said, the company agreed to pay $15 million related to its violation of immigration law.

ICE said Asplundh decentralized hiring so the company’s senior management could “remain willfully blind” as lower-level mangers hired and rehired workers they knew weren’t allowed to work in the U.S. The agency also said the lower-level managers knowingly accepted false or fake identification documents.