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Press Release

Pennslyvania Corporation Pleads Guilty and Forfeits $1 Million for Harboring Of Illegal Aliens

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Louisiana

U.S. Attorney Kenneth A. Polite announced that M.D. BASCIANI AND SONS, INC., a corporation domiciled in Pennsylvania, pled guilty today to a one-count Bill of Information charging the company with harboring illegal aliens at the Red Hill Mushroom Farm in Independence, Louisiana.

U.S. District Judge Jay C. Zainey sentenced M.D. BASCIANI AND SONS, INC. to three years of probation and ordered that the company forfeit over $1 million in illegal proceeds that it obtained as a result of employing the illegal workers.  The company was also ordered to comply with future immigration inspections and to provide training to its managers and employees with hiring authority about compliance with United States immigration laws.

According to court documents, M.D. BASCIANI AND SONS, INC. rehired several of the same workers under different names after an immigration inspection revealed that they were unauthorized to work in the United States.  The company’s records showed that the illegal alien workers had been fired, but in reality, they continued to pick and grow mushrooms at the farm.  The farm’s manager and another of its supervisory employees have already pled guilty to a pattern and practice of employing illegal aliens at the farm.

“It is important to ensure that all businesses are competing on a level playing field, and using illegal labor to increase profits will not be tolerated,” stated U.S. Attorney Polite.  “We will insist that every dollar in illegal proceeds is forfeited so that this illegal conduct does not pay.”

"Companies that violate federal law by employing workers illegally 'under the table' gain an unfair advantage over businesses that play by the rules," said Cindy M. Johnson., acting special agent in charge of HSI New Orleans. "HSI is committed to investigating and seeking prosecution of illegal employment practices to protect the legitimate workers and businesses that support our nation’s economy."

U.S. Attorney Polite praised the work of the Homeland Security Investigations in investigating this matter.  Assistant United States Attorney David Haller was in charge of the prosecution.

M.D. Basciani and Sons, Inc. Factual Basis.pdf (271.84 KB)

Updated September 1, 2015