rico

RICO lawsuits and immigration

The RICO Act ("Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act") was originally designed for use against organized crime. However, in several cases civil RICO lawsuits have been brought against companies that employed illegal aliens with the intent of depressing wages for American workers. See several examples below.

Last modified Dec 18, 2011
Discussed in (click each link for the full post):

ACORN Ohio worked *with* Obama campaign on GOTV; ACORN/Project Vote did GOTV in battleground states - 10/13/08

Barack Obama has long-term ties to the far-left group ACORN. And, those ties continued at least as late as February 2008, when ACORN's Ohio branch worked with the Barack Obama campaign on a GOTV effort. See this job announcement from Mari Engelhardt, political director of Ohio ACORN:
GOTV for Obama! Ohio ACORN is doing a Get Out The Vote project with the OBAMA Campaign.

New Jersey landlord sued over allegedly renting to illegal aliens (Connolly Properties, civil RICO) - 06/21/08

The Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) - part of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) - is suing New Jersey's Connolly Properties under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), claiming that that company and others have a habit of renting to illegal aliens and are thus guilty of harboring illegal aliens as well as violating the Fair Housing Act. Connoly is based in New Jersey and has properties there and in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

Tyson Foods hiring suit tossed; will appeal; evidence they harbored illegal aliens - 02/15/08

From this:
The poultry workers who alleged that Tyson Foods Inc. conspired to depress wages by hiring illegal aliens plan to fight a federal court decision that tossed their [RICO] lawsuit.

The long-contested court battle over whether Tyson Foods Inc.

Lawsuit claims Tyson Foods conspired with LULAC to hire illegal aliens - 11/06/07

From this:
The plaintiffs in a lawsuit accusing Tyson Foods Inc. of hiring illegal aliens to work at poultry plants are focusing on the meat producer's relationship with the League of Latin American Citizens. [Note: the two are also linked with Mike Huckabee]

"Mohawk Industries accused of witness tampering" - 04/07/07

From this:
An emergency hearing has been requested to determine if Mohawk Industries tampered with potential witnesses in a federal lawsuit.

The Calhoun-based carpet manufacturer is accused of "widespread employment of illegal workers" in order to drive down wages and workers compensation claims at their Northwest Georgia plants.

...one former employee and one current employee have stepped forward saying they have been subject to intimidation and threats aimed at stopping them from testifying in the case.

Presiding judge Harold L. Murphy is expected to decide Monday if an emergency hearing is needed to address the claims, according to court officials.
Previously:
Mohawk Carpet RICO class action suit can proceed
Businesses worried about being sued for hiring illegal aliens
Are you a lawyer who likes money?
"Forging a New Use for Civil RICO"

Mohawk Carpet RICO class action suit can proceed - 10/04/06

As previously discussed, several American workers are suing Mohawk Carpet under RICO (the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act), claiming that that major carpet manufacturer conspired to replace them with illegal aliens.

The U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled in the plaintiff's favor regarding a technical matter, so the case can proceed.

Legal details here, non-technical overview here:

Former and current workers at Dalton-based Mohawk Industries claim they received lower wages than workers at other companies in the Dalton area, which is known as the ``Carpet Capital of the World'' and home to carpet plants for Shaw Industries, Interface and other companies.

Banks worried about being called felons just because they may have aided and abetted illegal aliens - 05/09/06

The Chicago Tribune's "Immigrant bill worries banks" from Becky Yerak informs us that officers of banks that give home loans to illegal aliens are worried about being named as felons if HR4437 passes.

As discussed below [1], if a bank knows that someone is here illegally, and then gives them a home loan that allows them to stay here illegally, hasn't that bank committed a felony under current law?

Businesses worried about being sued for hiring illegal aliens - 02/15/06

From this:
Employers who hire illegal immigrants to depress wages have something new to fear: Employees who use racketeering laws to take them to court.

A law originally conceived to hammer the Mafia – the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations statute – is now being swung against employers at chicken-plucking plants, apple orchards and janitorial firms.

In April, the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to hear a Georgia racketeering case involving carpet giant Mohawk Industries Inc., its employment practices and allegations that it used labor recruiters in Brownsville.

The case is being closely watched by many employment law specialists – particularly in areas such as North Texas with large illegal immigrant populations – because it could trigger a rash of costly suits against businesses that depend on illegal labor.

A handful of similar suits have already been filed under RICO, and last month a judge approved a $1.3 million settlement in one of them...

Because so many of the RICO suits are brought in areas that hire large numbers of Hispanics, [Mohawk attorney Juan Morillo] said the issue should be of concern to the Hispanic community as a whole...

...The U.S. Chamber of Commerce filed a brief in support of Mohawk. So did Associated Builders & Contractors, a powerful trade group.

"This case is about RICO, which was initially used to go after the mob, and now it is being expanded by smart plaintiff lawyers to go after employers who have nothing to do with the mob," said Amar Sarwal, general counsel of the National Chamber Litigation Center, the public policy law firm of the U.S. Chamber...

Lawyers: make big money suing illegal alien employers! - 01/31/06

Zirkle Fruit is an apple producer in eastern Washington, and they recently settled a lawsuit brought by former legal workers. Those workers alleged that Zirkle hired illegal aliens in order to drive down their wages. The settlement amount was $1.3 million.

Are you a lawyer who likes money? - 06/14/05

Tired of PI? Want to make a difference? Maybe even start a political career?

Please take a look at "11th Circuit OKs RICO Suit Involving Illegal Aliens". Mohawk Industries Inc., a very large manufacturer of carpets and flooring, is accused of working with employment agencies to hire illegal aliens with the intent of depressing the wages of their American workers. They're being sued using RICO, the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.

New South Federal Savings Bank... and RICO? - 05/29/05

Dimitri Vassilaros might be an unforgivable idiot when it comes to biking ("Keep Bicycles off the Road"), but he does have an interesting column about home loans for illegal aliens.

The price of "cheap" labor is about to go up - 12/24/04

Wal*Mart is facing a class action lawsuit from former janitors:


After the raids, nine of the immigrants filed a suit in state court in New Jersey, with Cuban lawyer Gilberto Garcia of law firm Garcia and Kricko. Before that case developed, New York City attorney James L. Linsey of Cohen, Weiss and Simon LLP, contacted Garcia, and the two decided they had a case that was more far-reaching than a state court complaint.

"Forging a New Use for Civil RICO" - 09/09/04

Lawyer? Like money? Look here:


Despite a string of defeats before federal trial judges, Howard W. Foster has doggedly pressed on with a type of litigation he pioneered: using RICO to target companies that allegedly hire undocumented workers for the purpose of driving down wages...

[He's brought] five Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act suits since 1999, usually on behalf of employees with valid work authorization. Four were dismissed at an early stage by trial judges. But in three of those cases, Foster has persuaded federal appellate courts to reinstate his suits.

Last month, for instance, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals gave the green light to Foster's lawsuit against poultry giant Tyson Foods Inc. of Springdale, Ark. Trollinger v. Tyson Foods Inc., No. 02-6020.

In April, Foster won his first victory in a district court. Judge Harold Murphy of the Northern District of Georgia denied a motion to dismiss brought by Mohawk Industries Inc., a Calhoun, Ga., maker of rugs and carpets. Williams v. Mohawk Industries Inc., No. 04-CV-0003...

There are more legal links here and here.

How to make big money with illegal immigration - 07/14/04

No, not the "normal" way such as that allegedly employed by Wal*Mart subcontractors, Tyson Foods, and the like.

There are millions to be made by following the laws, rather than trying to break them (link):

Federal Court OKs Suit Against Tyson for Hiring Illegal Aliens - 06/07/04

From this:


A lawsuit by former employees of Tyson Foods, Inc. against their employer may go ahead, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Thursday. The four former workers are seeking damages as a result of Tyson's use of illegal aliens to depress wages. They sued the company under a provision of a 1996 law that made the intentional employment of illegal aliens for financial gain a violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act...