U.S. Seizes 14 7-Eleven Stores in Immigration Raids
By WILLIAM K. RASHBAUM and MOSI SECRET
Federal authorities seized 14 7-Eleven stores on Long Island and in Virginia early Monday, arresting nine owners and managers and charging them with harboring and hiring illegal immigrants and paying them using sham Social Security numbers, people briefed on the case said.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents and federal prosecutors in Brooklyn were also investigating 40 other 7-Eleven franchises in New York City and elsewhere, the person said, and the prosecutors were seeking $30 million in forfeiture from the stores and their corporate parent. The franchises split their profits with the corporation, which handles the store payrolls, the people said.
The owners and managers — eight men and a woman — were charged in an indictment to be unsealed Monday morning, the people said. It included accusations of wire fraud and aggravated identity theft stemming from payment of employees who were unauthorized immigrants using the Social Security numbers of children and the dead, the people said. One of the people said that the owners and managers had abused and taken advantage of the illegal immigrant workers.