7-Eleven Franchisee Sentenced To 87 Months In Prison For Wire Fraud, Alien Harboring, And Identity Theft Scheme
The Defendant Used Stolen Identities And Harbored Illegal Alien Workers To Carry Out The Scheme
Earlier today at the federal courthouse in Central Islip, New York, Farrukh Baig was sentenced to 87 months in prison following his September 22, 2014, guilty plea to committing wire fraud and concealing and harboring illegal aliens employed at 7-Eleven, Inc. (7-Eleven) franchise stores located throughout Long Island and Virginia.
The sentence was announced by Kelly T. Currie, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York; Raymond R. Parmer Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge, Homeland Security Investigations, New York Field Office (HSI); Joseph A. D’Amico, Superintendent, New York State Police; Edward Webber, Commissioner, Suffolk County Police; and Irv Miljoner, District Director, United States Department of Labor.
“Using the 7-Eleven brand in our neighborhoods, the defendant exploited his alien employees, stealing their wages and requiring them to live in unregulated boarding houses. He now faces time in prison for not only systematically employing illegal aliens, but also for concealing their employment by stealing the identities of children and even the dead,” stated Acting United States Attorney Currie. “We are committed to preserving the rule of law and protecting our communities from the abuses of corrupt businesses seeking to gain illegal advantage. I would like to thank our partners at HSI, New York State Police, Suffolk County Police, and the United States Department of Labor for their hard work on this important and ongoing investigation.”
“Today’s sentencing holds Farrukh Baig accountable for knowingly stealing identities to hire and employ an illegal workforce. He also stole more than $2.6 million from his overworked and underpaid employees,” said Raymond R. Parmer Jr., special agent in charge HSI New York. “This case serves as a stern reminder about the consequences facing employers who exploit illegal alien labor and violate our nation’s laws.” According to court filings and facts presented in court, the defendant, who owned, managed, and controlled fourteen 7-Eleven franchise stores during the course of the conspiracy, hired dozens of illegal aliens, equipped them with more than 20 identities stolen from United States citizens, housed them at residences he and his coconspirators owned, and stole substantial portions of his workers’ wages. During the scheme, the defendant generated over $182 million in proceeds from the 7-Eleven franchise stores.
This sentence marks an important milestone in the government’s ongoing investigation, which is already one of the largest criminal alien employment investigations ever conducted by the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security. In addition to the sentence of imprisonment, the court entered an order forfeiting the defendant’s rights to ten 7-Eleven stores in New York and four 7-Eleven stores in Virginia, as well as five houses in New York worth over $1.3 million. In addition, the court ordered the defendant to pay $2.5 million in restitution for the back wages that he stole from his workers.
The government’s case is being prosecuted by the Office’s Business and Security Fraud Unit. Assistant United States Attorney Christopher A. Ott is in charge of the prosecution, with assistance provided by Assistant United States Attorneys Brian Morris and Elliot M. Schachner of the Office’s Civil Division, which is responsible for the forfeiture of assets.
This prosecution was the result of efforts by President Obama's Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force (FFETF) which was created in November 2009 to wage an aggressive, coordinated, and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. With more than 20 federal agencies, 94 U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, and state and local partners, it’s the broadest coalition of law enforcement, investigatory, and regulatory agencies ever assembled to combat fraud. Since its formation, the task force has made great strides in facilitating increased investigation and prosecution of financial crimes; enhancing coordination and cooperation among federal, state, and local authorities; addressing discrimination in the lending and financial markets, and conducting outreach to the public, victims, financial institutions, and other organizations. Over the past three fiscal years, the Justice Department has filed more than 10,000 financial fraud cases against nearly 15,000 defendants including more than 2,700 mortgage fraud defendants. For more information on the task force, visit http://www.StopFraud.gov.
Tips and Information
For questions or concerns about immigrant workers and job seekers, contact the New York State Department of Labor Division Policies and Affairs (DIPA) at its toll-free worker hotline (1-877-466-9757).
E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 14-CR-351(SJF)
Citizenship: Naturalized United States Citizen
Head of Harbor, New York