International Herald Tribune
Southern California fence company, executives plead guilty in immigration probe
The Associated Press Thursday, December 14, 2006
A Southern California fence-building company and two executives pleaded guilty to knowingly hiring illegal immigrants and agreed to pay a combined penalty of $5 million (€3.79 million). The executives could also go to prison. The penalty is one of the biggest fines ever imposed in an immigration case, and the case represents a rare instance in which prosecutors brought criminal charges over the hiring of illegal immigrants.
Golden State Fence Co. will pay $4.7 million (€3.56 million). Mel Kay, 64, the company's founder, chairman and president, will forfeit $200,000, (€151,600) and Michael McLaughlin, 42, a manager in the company's Oceanside, California, office, will pay $100,000 (€75,800). The two men admitted hiring at least 10 illegal immigrants. Among the company's projects was also the construction of part of a 14-mile (22.5-kilometer) border fence in San Diego in the late 1990s.
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