ST. LOUIS – A Florida father and son and their employment contracting company admitted in federal court last week to bringing more than 100 unauthorized migrant workers to Missouri in 2018.
Prosecutors for the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Missouri said 37-year-old Jorge Marin-Gomez and 67-year-old Jorge Marin-Perez have pleaded guilty to the unlawful employment of aliens. Her company, Marin J. Corporation, entered an April 28 plea of guilty to criminal wire fraud charges.
According to court documents, Marin-Gomez and Marin-Perez admitted to illegal hiring practices from November 17, 2017 to October 20, 2018.
Marin-Gomez, who owned the company, was responsible for applying for visas for workers from Mexico. Marin-Perez was involved in the oversight and decision making of the application process.
Marin J. Corporation applied to the United States government for H-2A visas, stating that workers would be employed in Florida to harvest watermelons and blueberries. However, they transferred 104 workers to a farm in Kennett, Missouri, in direct violation of visa applications. The workers were used to harvest watermelons and cotton in Kennett.
“These farm workers, who were probably simply trying to improve their lives through hard work and an honest wage, were instead betrayed by their employers,” said R. Sean Fitzgerald, acting special counsel for the HSI.
Both Marin-Gomez and Marin-Perez signed a settlement with the US Department of Labor in February. Under the terms of the agreement, the company must pay $165,805 in arrears to 85 workers housed in a former Missouri county jail. The company also faces a $75,000 penalty for failing to provide meals and pay required wages and billing workers to obtain employment.
The company is scheduled to be sentenced on August 2. Marin-Gomez and Marin-Perez will each be sentenced on September 7th.
“Marin J. Corporation and its owners have abused the H-2A visa program to enrich themselves at the expense of foreign workers and other American employers,” said Irene Lindow, Chicago-area special agent-in-charge Labor, Office of the Inspector General.
https://fox2now.com/news/missouri/florida-men-admit-to-bringing-100-illegal-farm-workers-to-missouri/ Florida men admit to bringing 104 illegal farm workers to Missouri