Think no one will notice if you neglect to check whether a new employee is eligible to work in the U.S.? The federal government is cracking down on immigration paperwork violations and the penalties are more severe than you probably realize. A recent case in Maryland shows us very clearly why I-9 violations are no small matter.
Raymond Vincent owns a Maryland based pool company that serves the Washington, D.C. area. Vincent was recently found guilty in federal court of hiring several unauthorized employees. Court documents show RSV Pools hired at least 12 ineligible workers from 2009 and 2013.
One of the men he hired was Milen Radomirski, a Bulgarian national. Radomirski admitted to recruiting workers and getting more than 100 fraudulent H-2B visas--documents that allow immigrants to work in the U.S. temporarily. Accepting the fake visas was only part of Vincent’s problem. The government says nine of the employees in question were legal to work at the time of hiring, but lost their eligibility. Vincent kept them on staff even though he knew they were no longer legally allowed to work.
Here’s the amazing part. For the violations we just listed, Raymond Vincent was sentenced to two days in prison plus 60 days of house arrest and 18 months of probation. On top of that, he was ordered to forfeit $42,262 and pay $36,000 in fines.
The government is not messing around with employment verifications. They must be done, and they must be done correctly. And as this example shows, willfully and knowingly hiring someone who is not permitted to work here can cost you dearly.
Employment Background Investigations is a technology driven leader in domestic and global pre-employment background checks, drug testing, occupational health screening and I-9 compliance. We specialize in development, implementation and management of customized employment screening programs for large and multi-national clients. We are dedicated to information security. EBI is the only NAPBS Accredited background screening company in the world to hold both an ISO 27001:2005 certification for information security and an ISO 9001:2008 certification for Quality Management.
All content provided by EBI is published for the convenience of its readers and should never be deemed as legal guidance or advice. Always consult your legal counsel for specific advice on state laws and industry regulations.