Office of the United States Attorney, Ann Birmingham Scheel
District of Arizona
March 15, 2012
COMMERCIAL FARM AND OFFICER CONVICTED OF KNOWINGLY EMPLOYING ILLEGAL ALIENS, ORDERED TO PAY $21,000 CRIMINAL FINE
PHOENIX – On March 14, 2012, U.S. Magistrate Judge Steven P. Logan ordered Falfa Farms 95, an agricultural producer based in Eloy, Ariz., and one of its officers, Brian Layton, to pay a $21,000 fine for engaging in a pattern and practice of knowingly employing illegal aliens. Layton also was sentenced to two years’ probation.
In late 2006, Layton learned that seven of Falfa Farms’ employees were Mexican citizens who lacked authorization to work or reside in the United States. Under federal law, an employer must terminate an employee after making such a discovery, but Falfa Farms continued employing the workers after discovering their citizenship status. In fact, Falfa Farms later submitted work-authorization applications to the U.S. Department of Labor and to U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services on behalf of all seven employees. In each of those applications, Falfa Farms (through Layton) falsely certified that the alien was not a current employee, was living in Mexico, and that authorization was appropriate because there were no qualified U.S. workers to fill the job vacancy.
The investigation was conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations. The prosecution was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Dominic Lanza.
CASE NUMBER: 12-10004M-PHX-SPL
RELEASE NUMBER: 2012-066(Layton)
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For more information on the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Arizona, visit http://www.justice.gov/usao/az/