By: Bruce E. Buchanan, Sebelist Buchanan Law

Southeastern Provision, the company which was the subject of an U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raid on April 5, 2018, has signed a consent order, to resolve a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Labor concerning failure to pay minimum wage and overtime properly. Southeastern Provision and its owner, James Brantley agreed to pay $610,000 to their employees for back pay and damages. Approximately 150 current and former employees will receive the money over a three-year period of time according to the consent decree filed at the U.S. District Court in Knoxville, Tennessee. Unfortunately, many of the recipients have already been deported.
On April 5, 2018, agents for ICE and the IRS raided Southeastern Provision in Bean Station, Tennessee during an investigation into Brantley's business practices. They detained 97 undocumented workers.

Brantley is serving 18 months in prison in Montgomery, Alabama after pleading guilty to tax fraud, wire fraud, and employment of undocumented workers. In so doing, he dodged $2.5 million in payroll taxes over a period of 20 years. Before he pled guilty, Brantley agreed to pay $1,423,588 in restitution to the United States government.

If you want to know more information on issues related to employer immigration compliance, I recommend you read The I-9 and E-Verify Handbook, a book I co-authored with Greg Siskind, and available at