US Convenience Stores Exploited Immigrants

By Larry Neumeister,Associated Press

June 17, 2013

NEW YORK (AP) — Nine owners and managers of 7-Eleven convenience stores were charged on Monday in a scheme to exploit immigrants from Pakistan and the Philippines, in part by paying them using the stolen Social
Security numbers of a child and three dead people.

Most of the defendants were arrested early Monday as federal authorities raided 14 franchise stores on
Long Island, New York, and in Virginia. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents were executing search warrants at about 30 other stores across the U.S. suspected of similar infractions, authorities said at a news conference in Brooklyn.

Federal indictments naming eight men and one woman allege that since 2000 they employed more than 50 immigrants who didn’t have permission to be in the U.S. They tried to conceal the immigrants’ employment by stealing the identities of about two dozen people — including those of the child, the dead and a Coast Guard cadet — and submitting the information to the 7-Eleven payroll department.

When 7-Eleven’s headquarters sent the wages for distribution, the employers stole “significant portions” of the workers’ pay, authorities said. The defendants also forced the workers to live in houses they owned and pay them rent in cash, they added.

“The defendants not only systematically employed illegal immigrants, but concealed their crimes by raiding the cradle and the grave to steal the identities of children and even the dead,” U.S. Attorney Loretta
Lynch said in a statement. “Finally, these defendants ruthlessly exploited their immigrant employees, stealing their wages and requiring them to live in unregulated boarding houses, in effect creating a modern day plantation system.”

The government seized the franchise rights of 10 stores in New York and four stores in Virginia. The stores will remain open under the parent company’s operation.

Immigration officials detained 18 workers, including some who first notified authorities about the alleged fraud.

The defendants were to appear in court on Long Island and Norfolk, Virginia, later in the day to face wire fraud conspiracy, identity theft and alien harboring charges. They face up to 20 years in prison if convicted of conspiracy.

A 7-Eleven spokesman said the company was cooperating with the investigation, but declined further comment.

The case reflects stepped up enforcement against employers using bogus documentation for immigrant workers. In the past two years, federal authorities have brought similar charges against more than 500 business-owners and managers, said James Hayes, head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s New York office.

“There’s real teeth to these laws, and we’re using them now more than ever before,” Hayes said.

Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. also came under investigation in recent years by for hiring workers who were in the country illegally. Last year, federal prosecutors charged a Minneapolis man who ran a company that provides labor to large poultry farms with transporting and harboring illegal immigrants.

Haeyoung Yoon, senior staff attorney for the National Employment Law Project, said that low-wage employers are more prone to not having the proper documentation for their workers. Once the fraud is exposed, the workers typically end up getting fired on the spot and sometimes deported, Yoon said.

21 Comments on this post.

Leave a Reply



  • jorge buesa
    17 June 2013 at 11:55 pm - Reply


    • Delia
      21 June 2013 at 10:28 am - Reply

      They are cocroaches spreading like disease .

  • kikayPang0
    18 June 2013 at 5:43 am - Reply

    Pack them all illegals and Pak all 7 eleven owners .

  • medeliaright
    18 June 2013 at 7:41 am - Reply

    See what happens when there’s no illegal aliens in America, you would be forced to dig your own sewers, pick your own fruits, vegetables, etc. I am sure a person born (kuno) in America wouldn’t want to do that !

  • O
    18 June 2013 at 8:03 am - Reply

    This left winger AP writer’s headline is misleading the readers by plainly writing Immigrants, instead of saying Illegal Immigrants. The writer’s writing is also focus solely faulting the employers, stressing the illegal immigrants are victims of their own illegal activities. This style of writing is to get the sympathy of those who are not well verse on illegal immigration. The the INS laws provisions both are arrested and jailed, the illegal aliens must be deported and the exploiting employers imprisoned and fined to the fullest extent of the law.

  • O
    18 June 2013 at 8:14 am - Reply

    With the right pay and benefits, lazy americans stripped off of Obama’s EBT, etc will dig ditches, pick fruits/veggies. Nowadays, digging ditches/picking crops are done by machineries. The exploiting employers will not invest on expensive modern machineries as long as they can use illegal aliens for cheap labors to dig/pick.

    • medeliaright
      18 June 2013 at 8:38 am - Reply

      With the right pay? Millions of people can’t even a low wage paying job these days ! How in the hell the right pay will ever happen. Are you seriously saying that one should pay someone to dig ditches $55,000 a year with benefits? Exactly my point as well as smart business owners out there, be able for their companies to survive in this Great Recession, they must turn to the cheapest way of labor they could get and those are the Illegal aliens ! It’s supply and demand, Illegal immigration is a business itself in America. America is broke as most of us know and we continue to deny that and just blame the current government for it, while there are so many factors that are out there why this country is broke. No, it’s not just OBAMA, unlike the extreme rightist beliefs, it’s everybody’s fault. It all starts from those who has the political power to change, amend and enforce those laws and regulations. People were just given the opportunities to migrate, own, buy and all sorts of free will in this country. Problem is, we are all just humans and we all make mistakes. The government failed to act on those rules and regulations they have passed and enacted. Lastly, with the current financial of the government, Immigration Reform is really not the sole solution for revenues, it will make a dent on the financial problems but it will not solve the problem on both Illegal Immigration and the Financial problems of the government. We all can keep saying deport deport, the fact is yes, there are many that are being deported but many are still out there. Much much more than 11 million. The 11 million can be deported but the amount of those coming in legally and staying illegally once they passed their visas is in astronomical numbers. So, what’s the point of deportation??

      • O
        18 June 2013 at 9:04 am - Reply

        Again, I am not going to spoon fed. Big companies like Dole doing business in America hires with the right pay and benefits. Dole, just like big businesses for profit out smarted the USA government by planting pineapple oversees, exploiting poor countries with extreme corrupted government. Labor laws followed by legitimate businesses allow people to live decently. America is broke, no money, nada is real because of Obama is a whole lot exposed by now, to long to go to details, do your own research. All I can in short is this – too many are on EBT, etc, while too little are paying income taxes, the result the US Treasury are not collecting revenues to sustain Obama’s spending, therefore Obama wants more borrowing from China to keep up the funding of his EBT, etc. The almost 17 trillion debt is pushing America to doomsday.

        • medeliaright
          18 June 2013 at 9:13 am - Reply

          Obama’s fault right? Blame it all on the black and democratic guy. That’s okay, we have the right to criticize the government but I will not ride the blame game. Instead, I will just do whatever it takes for a better and glorious United States of America.

          • O
            18 June 2013 at 11:17 pm -

            What black!, there are tons of whites, hispanic whites that are on EBT, etc. What blame, the economic problems are real, Obama have no plan to pay the 17 trillion debt, his sequester are not even putting a pinch on the deficits. Obama is operating on spending and borrowing. Obama and his broods are spending 100 million dollars plus, vacationing at the expense of the taxpayers, visiting Africa, majority of Americans are asking Africa? for what purpose. Well who is running this nation under water, scandals, full of shames for America, etc Guess what its Obama’s fault, deserved to be blame, not Bush. Obama knows damn well its his fault, just look at his hair turning gray. Obama has no solutions to offer to revive the ailing America, his ideologues are not building America, but falling, dividing America into pieces to ruin.

          • medeliaright
            19 June 2013 at 7:48 am -

            I did’t know that Obama has actually caused the housing and markets crash of 2008… I did’t know that he was already the President when our 401k’s were almost leveled down to Zero… You just cannot accept the reality that we have a black President and that his decisions are far way better than yours if you would have been the President… That’s the fact, there’s a reason why a person is voted to be The President and neither you and I is that person. If you think and actually believe that Bush did actually nothing to this country’s current economic situation, you are a damn fool ! Look at all angles of the problem, look at the big picture. BUT, the real problem is people like you that are extreme rightist that often times you guys are being labeled as the anti-democracy and racists party. One of the reasons why Obama has not succeed on his term is because of that he does not get the respect from his republican counterparts. Obama is still a african america president. If there’s someone to blame for that is the kind of people like you ! The so conservatives and anti-socials. It’s people like that possess little advanced thinking as you are stuck in the ways of Old America. It’s now 2013, and the Ku Klax Klan years and Civil Rights era has since long gone…. So why don’t you just shut your filthy mouth and just keep your opinions to yourselves as it’s becoming unruly and un-American !

          • O
            19 June 2013 at 2:12 pm -

            You sure need to do your own accurate research. I’ll give you a hint. The housing market bust was caused by the sub-prime mortgage pushed by democrats Barney Frank/Chris Dodd during the second term of GW Bush. The bust of the housing market in America in turn caused the rippled economic downturn globally. That’s why the Democratic party is a party of chaos, irresponsibly writing laws to hand in a platter the American Dream of owning a home for those who cannot afford to pay monthly mortgages. So where do you think the money came from to finance the housing boom destined to doom, where else from 401K and other investments. The housing bust of Barney Frank/Chris Dodd’s legacy is perpetrated by Obama with his failed loan modification saga as one of his reckless spendings. So who is really the damn fool. Anybody who use racism in logical arguments affecting America is ignorant.

          • O
            19 June 2013 at 2:30 pm -

            Koolaid drinkers, cheese and crackers eaters, tin foil hat wearers are ignorant of the first amendment of the constitution. Nobody in America even Obama can tell anybody to shut up, what words to say or use. You are spewing fabricated events and your talk back is personal attack? Write the truth, not propagandas you learned from your leftist infos.

          • Medeliaright
            19 June 2013 at 4:37 pm -

            Okay extremist rightist…so if our president bush was smart enough why then did he allow the proposition go through if he knew it was a bad idea or did he? Yan ang problema sa inyong mga republicans eh ung mga tulad mong extremists ha…. Ang hilig nyong manisi pero ung sarili nyong partido ay Hindi run naman malinis at magaling… Daing kayo ng daing maigi nga at may trabaho ka pa o may pera ka pang nakukuha. Dalhin mo kaya sa pilipinas yang pagiging ganyan mo kundi ka patayin ng Wala sa oras…. Sana naman suportahan na lang ninyo ang Kung Sino mang nakaupo dyan para sa atin din naman ang ginagawa nila kahit na sa paniniwala mo ay maling mali ang ginagawa ng presidente. Eh sigurado naman ako Talagang Hindi mo rin naman kaya baguhin ang America at Kung Sino man ang republican na nakaupo dyan… Ganun pa rin !!

          • Medeliaright
            19 June 2013 at 4:51 pm -

            ….and how many times I have heard of the Doods and Barney doctrine in the past…. One must know that these two were not the only ones who were at fault during the 2008 crisis.. They became the main focal point while our beloved bushit has all the power to avert that, instead he supported it because fire being put on his ass for his dumbness on Iraq and Afghanistan among other dumb crap he’s done…. And you have the guts to blame it all on the Democratic Party??? Whewww…,hats off to you sa paniniwala mo….

          • O
            20 June 2013 at 8:20 am -

            You said GW Bush did not intervene? of course as a conservative leader GW Bush did intervene on such extreme far, far lefty, liberal agenda of the predominantly Democratic house on his second term. Obama’s economics are Marxist, socialist dividing the USA. Look at the taxpayers monies abusively being used to extend the legacy of Frank/Dodd housing bust. Obama’s anti-business, anti 1% by heavy taxations, to buy the votes of the 99%. The 50% plus suckers of other peoples money are all now under the spells of Obama’s Marxist ideologues, spending/borrowing sprees with the blessings, highly supported by his Democratic party. Travel the USA, the signs EBT are all over, in gas stations, stores on urban, rural, ghettos/expensive neighborhoods. Look at the strong, healthy people cashing in their EBT. Don’t tell me these strong, healthy looking people with EBT are unhealthy in minds, mentally ills or crazies. Its quite disgusting to see EBT recipients cashing in other peoples monies. I am a capitalist, believing normal people in mind and body must work hard to make their own money to determine their own livelihood/destiny. The welfare system is needed for those people who are abnormal in mind and body, so don’t tell me more than half of the populace are abnormal in mind/body or just plain lazy and true suckers of other people money, make your own call. No conservatives will support the current Marxist ideologues of Obama. The Democratic party are always blaming social security, medicare eating up the budgets, when in fact the hard working Americans have paid into social security/medicare their entire life of hard work. The money pool of social security/medicare have been abused/misused by the Feds to funnel the money to fund welfare, medicaid, etc. So, I say, EBT, medicaid, free cellphone, food stamps, etc must be given to really who are abnormal in mind/body, a true conservative principles, will never ever be a Democratic party principles. Therefore, Obama a true extreme far lefty, Marxist will never ever get the supports of the conservatives, you negatively labeled as the extreme rightist. The extreme rightist will totally eradicate welfare. Republicans are conservatives, believing the welfare system is a safety net for the less fortunate, unhealthy in mind/body. America is a free society, people or individuals can be extreme rightists. Satanism is even recognized as religion in America, put forth by the extreme left winger.

          • medeliaright
            20 June 2013 at 8:50 am -

            Good luck with your beliefs being a capitalist. Regardless of the public’s view and their own political sides, we all share the same sentiments, pay taxes, pay more taxes, and pay more taxes. This is not the Philippines where you can get away without paying taxes regardless of the amount. Of course GW Bush did not intervene, he was dumb enough to make that decision. Being conservative ba yung pagpasok sa Iraq at Afghanistan and spend Trillions of your money to baseless wars??? Now tell me if those moves were conservative??

          • medeliaright
            20 June 2013 at 9:07 am -

            So, you are a capitalist? So why do you not believe in Marxism then? Wasn’t Karl Marx was a capitalist, yet you say that Obama is a Marxist? Conflict of interest !!! I do not believe that Obama continued the Frank Dodd mess into this date, so I do not know where did you get that information from and wherever it came from is inadequate. Now, you are lost in your debate and arguments due to lack of factual investigation and real understanding of the philosophy, politics and government. You are nothing but being hard critics that lacks truth understanding of the concept. So please, stop copying from those who criticize Barack Obama and his way of running this country. He did not adopt a country in great financial status. Refresh your mind during the election year of 2008 and remind yourself of what this country said ; “CHANGE”, it did in fact Change but the damage that the past administration is beyond repair. This wasn’t just a Recession it was a Great Recession and Obama was not yet the President then so stop blaming Obama and just the Democrats for this fiasco. It was everyone, it was AMERICA’s fault !!! Open your damn eyes to the reality of life in this country and maybe you will be enlightened. Go ahead and be the most conservative as you are and soon enough no one will engage a good and productive debate with you as you are very conservative. Para kayong mga komunista !

          • medeliaright
            20 June 2013 at 9:37 am -

            Wow ! A capitalist ! A Slave-master ! Capitalists people knows nothing but to profit from their workers hard work and not to reward their workers of their hard work, thus making you belong to the 1 pct of the population. We just hope that your filthy rich monies would take you to paradise that you think do exists with the money you have. Workers should not only earn their money by working, they also should be compensated for their work especially if they are your loyal workers. Without those pushing your companies to the top, your companies will not succeed. No ! it isn’t that there are few paying taxes, it’s that there are many that are making tons of money and are paying less taxes. I just don’t understand that an Attorney who makes $500,000.00 on yearly income pays less taxes than his secretary that makes $50,000 on yearly income. Was it Obama’s fault that the IRS codes are set up that way?? Come on conservatives !! Obama wasn’t born in 1800’s, if you get my point ! In short this is my stand…. The politicians made a mistake in the years of 2006-2008, and the damage done then was too much for anyone to fix. So, PLEASE !!!!!! Stop beating up the democratic party. What was the reason why the REPUBLICAN party is not as strong as they are in the past ???? Now do your own research and JUST LOOK IN THE FACTS and NOT IN THE CRITICISMS…. So that you can explain and create a constructive debate.

  • medeliaright
    21 June 2013 at 12:13 pm - Reply

    .. and soon enough they will be inside you Delia, eating you like a piece of meat.

  • jr(catholic against right wingers)
    21 June 2013 at 5:00 pm - Reply

    How can I get approved for this EBT card? I am dying of hunger and Ive been turn down so many times. And why are the majority of people on EBT white? Am I being discriminated for not getting it? Lol