By: Bruce E. Buchanan, Sebelist Buchanan Law PLLC

The CFO, Robert James, for Speed Fab-Crete, a concrete manufacturing company in Kennedale, Texas, was sentenced to three months in federal prison and ordered to pay a $69,000 fine for bringing in and harboring undocumented workers.

Mark Sevier, the owner of Take Charge Staffing, and Speed Fab-Crete’s three owners, Carl Eugene Hall, Ronald Alan Hamm, and David Leon Bloxom, all previously pleaded guilty in connection with the scheme and are awaiting their sentences.

In January, Speed Fab-Crete signed a non-prosecution agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, admitting it illegally employed individuals not authorized to work in the United States, and agreed to forfeit $3 million to the U.S. Treasury. See The company also pledged to continue to use E-Verify; to comply with new internal verification procedures; to conduct company-wide training on immigration compliance; and to discipline those who attempt to employ unauthorized workers.

According to their plea papers and Speed Fab-Crete’s factual statement, the defendants admitted they attempted to disguise the employment of unauthorized workers at Speed Fab-Crete by placing them on the payroll of Take Charge Staffing, then lied to the government, stating that the unauthorized workers had been terminated from employment at Speed Fab-Crete.

After an I-9 inspection of Speed Fab-Crete’s employment records revealed that 43 of the company’s 106 employees were individuals not authorized to work in the United States, Speed Fab-Crete entered into a settlement with HSI, pledging to rectify the situation. HSI agreed not to conduct any subsequent I-9 inspection for six months, giving Speed Fab-Crete the time and opportunity to rectify the situation by employing legal workers.

In furtherance of that effort, in February 2016, the owners of Speed Fab-Crete met with Take Charge Staffing to discuss replenishing their workforce. Initially, Hall asked Sevier to transfer the illegal aliens from Speed Fab-Crete’s payroll system onto Take Charge Staffing’s payroll and have them assigned to Speed Fab-Crete. In September 2016, Sevier agreed to Hall’s plan.
On September 23, 2016, Speed Fab-Crete simultaneously terminated 39 unauthorized workers and sent 23 of them straight to Take Charge Staffing, where they were hired and assigned to Speed Fab-Crete. All 23 returned to work at Speed Fab-Crete the following Monday. From September 2016 until August 2017, Take Charge Staffing sent invoices for the unauthorized workers to Speed Fab-Crete – all of which Hall authorized.

On October 11, 2016, Speed Fab-Crete followed up with HSI, sending a letter that read all 39 of the unauthorized workers had been released and were “no longer working at Speed Fab-Crete Corporation.” Each of the individuals and the company admitted that this was a false and misleading statement to the government.
If you are concerned about your company’s immigration compliance, including possible employment of undocumented workers, I invite you to read The I-9 and E-Verify Handbook, a book that I co-authored with Greg Siskind, available at