7-Eleven stores in New York and Virginia were busted for hiring and harboring illegal immigrants. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced that 14 stores have pleaded guilty to the charges. According to court documents, the 7-Eleven stores had hired and were concealing “dozens” of illegal immigrants at five separate franchise operations.
The ICE release issued earlier today revealed that the 7-Eleven defendants will face up to 20 years in prison for knowingly hiring illegal immigrants. As previously reported by The Inquisitr, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio was offering illegal immigrants free zoo passes and a host of other discounted and free attraction admission vouchers if they would “step out of the shadows” and complete an identification card so they could garner housing and other assistance. Those opposed to the sanctuary city tactics do not understand why the 7-Eleven store owners have been arrested yet the New York mayor continues to aid illegal aliens.
The 7-Eleven store owners are also being charged with wire fraud. The individuals reportedly gave the illegal immigrants face identities which were stolen from American citizens upon hiring. The stolen identities include the names of children and the deceased, according to the ICE news release.
The illegal immigrants hired by 7-Eleven were also reportedly housed at the residences of the store owners. The franchisees were also accused of stealing “millions of dollars” from the wages of the illegal workers.
“These defendants knowingly hired illegal aliens to feed their greed, stole the identities of unsuspecting U.S. citizens, and swindled more than 2.6 million dollars in wages from their enslaved workers,” Department of Homeland Security Special Agent James T. Hayes Jr. said. “These cases serve as notice to employer that they will be severely punished if they seek to profit on the back of an illegal workforce,” Hayes added.
U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Loretta Lynch said the 7-Eleven store owners were dispensing wire fraud along with candy bars and Big Gulps.
“In our backyards, the defendants not only systematically employed illegal aliens, but concealed their employment by stealing the identities of children and even the dead,” Lynch concluded.
The 7-Eleven store owners that held five franchise leases and controlled 14 stores agreed to give away all rights to their stores and the property rights to five house houses in New York that are worth approximately $1.3 million. ICE deemed the 7-Eleven investigation as the largest criminal alien employment investigation ever embarked upon by the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security. Whether or not the illegal immigrants will be deported is unknown. The franchise owners charged have been identified as: Farrukh Baig, Malik Yousaf, Bushra Baig, Shahnawaz Baig, and Zahid Baig.
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[Image via: Wikipedia]