Immigrant tied to Trillium charged with ID fraud

Bethany Bruner, Reporter3:52 p.m. EDT October 20, 2015

(Photo: Submitted photo)

NEWARK - Local egg producer Trillium Farms faces another immigrant employment issue less than a year after federal authorities busted a human trafficking ring working out of at least two of its Ohio locations.

Ignacio Flores-Doblado, 64, an immigrant in the country illegally, was arrested last week and charged Friday with identity fraud in Licking County Common Pleas Court after working for the company for two years.

Flores-Doblado had been using the identity and Social Security number of a man in Arizona to work for Trillium Farms in Croton since at least October 2013, according to court records.

This incident comes less than a year after federal authorities conducted a December raid in Marion County and ended up charging six people with a labor trafficking scheme that involved nearly a dozen teenagers and young adults being shipped from Guatemala to Marion County to work off their debts on egg farms. The immigrants worked at Trillium's facilities in Mount Victory and Marseilles for a subcontractor.

Trillium has not been charged in connection with that incident.

A company statement from Trillium Farms provided through email Tuesday said Flores-Doblado's information was run through the federal e-Verify system and appeared valid.

"At the time of his hiring, he presented what appeared to be proper documentation showing his identification and authorization to work," the company said. "This information was submitted to e-Verify and the e-Verify system indicated the employee was authorized to work."

The Licking County identity theft came to light in September after the victim filed a police report in Avondale, Arizona, because he believed his identity was being used. According to court records, the victim told Arizona police he received a statement saying he owed more than $10,000 on an apartment in Columbus. The victim said he had never lived in Ohio.

Court records show the victim's wife had found information linking the person misusing her husband's identity to Trillium Farms, at which point Licking County officials were notified.

Licking County Sheriff's Office detectives contacted Trillium Farms and obtained the information being misused by Flores-Doblado to obtain employment, with the information matching the victim, according to court records.

Flores-Doblado's fingerprints helped to accurately identify him through Immigration and Customs Enforcement records.

Court records show Flores-Doblado had been scheduled for a deportation hearing in 2005, however, he did not appear for that hearing and had not been located.

Khaalid Walls, a spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said Tuesday in an email that Department of Homeland Security privacy policies prohibits the release of any information related to a specific case.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement is a division of the Department of Homeland Security.

"ICE is monitoring the pending criminal charges against Mr. Flores-Doblado and will determine the appropriate next steps when the local case is resolved," Walls wrote.

Trillium said they were cooperative with the investigation.

Flores-Doblado is being held in the Licking County Justice Center in lieu of a $100,000 bond. Court records indicate he could face additional charges, including a third-degree felony count of identity fraud, after a grand jury reviews the case.

The Immigration and Naturalization Service has placed a holder on Flores-Doblado, according to jail records, meaning he would not be released if he posted the bond.