U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Seaboard Corp. have reached a settlement of more than $1 million, regarding an investigation into alleged employment of unauthorized workers from 2007-2012 at Seaboard’s Guymon, Okla., processing plant and failure to properly complete employment eligibility forms.
The investigation also looked into allegations that healthcare claims for some Seaboard employees, who were enrolled in private health insurance plan provided by Seaboard, were improperly submitted to the Oklahoma Medicaid Program with respect to the same time period, 2007-2012.
The settlement agreement requires Seaboard to pay $750,000 to ICE and $256,000 to the State of Oklahoma’s Office of the Attorney General. This agreement was large predicted upon Seaboard’s cooperation during the investigation.
Related: Why Illegal Immigrants Get Hired
Seaboard cooperated fully with the government and agreed to pay $1,006,000 to resolve the matter. The settlement acknowledges that Seaboard denies each and every allegation of wrongdoing and explicitly reflects that the settlement is not an admission of liability by Seaboard.
“Our company demands adherence to all laws, rules and regulations everywhere we operate, and we take our compliance obligations seriously,” said Darwin Sand, president and CEO of Seaboard Foods. “In the settlement agreement, ICE acknowledged that Seaboard employed company-wide compliance efforts, both prior to and subsequent to the investigation.”
ICE Audits Continue
Under federal law, employers are required to verify the identity and employment eligibility of all individuals they hire and to document that information using the Employment Eligibility Verification From I-9. Learn more from ICE.
“Protecting the integrity of the U.S. immigration system is a key component of our homeland security mission,” said Katrina W. Berger, special agent in charge of HSI Dallas. “Enforcing immigration and hiring laws helps protect jobs for U.S. citizens and lawful residents.”
In fiscal year 2017, ICE conducted 1,360 I-9 audits and made 139 criminal arrests and 172 administrative arrests.
See other reports of ICE investigations on agricultural companies this past year: