California man sentenced to 10 months in federal prison for knowingly hiring illegal immigrants
March 13, 2011 § Leave a comment
Rick M. Vartanian, 57, of Ladera Ranch had been convicted of obstruction of justice and employing illegal immigrants at his company, Brownwood Furniture. In November 2009, officials said, Vartanian told investigators with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement that unauthorized workers identified during an earlier audit were no longer employed by the company. In fact, Vartanian had kept 18 of those workers on his payroll and was concealing their employment, according to federal officials, who said the investigation began when the immigration agency received an anonymous tip that Brownwood Furniture had hired the illegal workers.
In fiscal year 2010, a record 180 business owners, employers and managers were charged with illegal hiring, up from 114 in fiscal 2009 and 135 the previous year. Also in fiscal 2010, immigration officials conducted more than 2,200 employer audits, up from more than 1,400 in fiscal 2009. (LA Times)