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  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Mar 2006
    Santa Clarita Ca

    Employer guilty in identity case Plant hired illegal immigra | Return to regular view

    Original Story URL:

    Employer guilty in identity case
    Plant hired illegal immigrants
    Posted: July 23, 2007
    The owner of Star Packing Co. in Whitewater pleaded guilty Monday to identity theft charges related to his hiring of illegal immigrants.

    Allen J. Petrie, 48, changed his plea to guilty as his trial was about to begin in Walworth County Circuit Court. He had been charged with six counts of being party to identity theft for financial gain but pleaded guilty to five counts. The sixth was dropped.

    Twenty-five illegal immigrants were arrested after federal immigration and local authorities raided Petrie's plant last August. The case drew widespread publicity because of the use of criminal identity theft as a basis for investigating illegal immigrant workers, especially when Petrie, a well-known Walworth County businessman, was also charged.

    Latino organizations in Milwaukee and Madison got involved in the case, and city officials wound up meeting with representatives from such groups to defuse tensions generated by the raid.

    Latino leaders especially protested the role of Whitewater police Detective Larry Meyer, a 35-year veteran of the force, whom they accused of harassing and profiling workers at Star. Meyer has since retired.

    Walworth County Assistant District Attorney Diane Donohoo said a plea agreement was worked out over the weekend with Petrie's attorney, Stephen Glynn of Milwaukee.

    Each count of the identity theft charge carries a maximum penalty of up to six years in prison and a fine of $10,000, but, Donohoo said, "This is not a prison case."

    She said she will recommend a sentence of six months in jail and probation. Sentencing is set for Oct. 15.

    Glynn could not be reached for comment Monday.

    While the case had been tied to illegal immigration, which is a civil violation, Donohoo said that it was not about immigration.

    "Identity theft is a crime in this state, and it doesn't matter where (the defendants) come from," she said. "This was about deterrence to protect victims of identify theft" and to deter employers from hiring workers who don't have valid Social Security numbers.

    Two Mexican workers also have been charged with identity theft in connection with the case. Their cases are pending.

    Other Star workers who were working with false Social Security numbers agreed to return to Mexico or have sought immigration hearings.

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    From the July 24, 2007 editions of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
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  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    This makes me so angry!

    I freed thousands of slaves; I could have freed more if they knew they were slaves.
    --Harriet Tubman

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