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Houston Based IFCO Systems Managers Plead Guilty to Hiring Illegal Workers

author Published by Admins

Several senior managers at the Houston based wooden pallet manufacturer, IFCO systems, have pleaded guilty to hiring and employing thousands of illegal aliens from Mexico and Central America.

At a hearing before Judge Gray H. Miller of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, defendants Charles Davidson of San Antonio, Christopher Tiesman and Kenneth Gines Jr., both of Spring, Texas, Haskell “Buddy” Ross of Lakeland, Fla., and Wendy Mudra of Tampa, Fla., admitted that they hired and employed illegal workers between January 2003 and April 2006.

This is not the first action taken by the federal government against IFCO Systems. The Houston based company was raided in April 2006 by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents following a tip given to ICE in February 2005. ICE agents and other federal and state authorities raided 45 IFCO plants in 26 different states, detaining 1,181 undocumented workers, a majority of the IFCO workforce at the facilities.

IFCO reached a record $20.7 million settlement with the government in December 2008 and nine other IFCO managers have already pleaded guilty.

Each defendant faces up to six months in prison and a $3,000 fine for each unauthorized alien who was part of the “pattern and practice of illegal hiring,” the statement said.  Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 20.

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