Van Nuys Company Charged Following Immigration Raid
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A California printer supply manufacturer raided by federal authorities four years ago has agreed to plead guilty to employing illegal immigrants and pay $267,000 in fines.
Wazana Brothers International — also known as Micro Solutions Enterprises — has reached a proposed deal with federal prosecutors that includes three years probation and a compliance program for employing 55 illegal immigrants, court papers show. Company president Yoel Wazana will plead guilty to aiding and abetting the false representation of a Social Security number by a worker.
Company representatives are slated to appear in federal court in Los Angeles on Wednesday afternoon. The deal still must be approved by a judge.
The charges come four years after federal immigration agents raided the Van Nuys company and arrested about 130 workers on suspicion of being in the country illegally. Eight workers were criminally charged at the time — but charges against the company and its president were filed just last month.
“We have identified and successfully targeted those responsible for employing an illegal workforce,” said Claude Arnold, special agent in charge of Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s homeland security investigations in Los Angeles. “That’s the way we will deter companies and individuals running the companies from engaging in that behavior.”
Wazana attorney Peter Schey said the company acknowledges its negligence five years ago when it disregarded some workers’ immigration status and is committed to full compliance with the law.
“These errors were corrected long ago and changes in procedures will preclude them from happening again,” Schey said.
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