A few days ago, the owners and managers of Advantage Framing were indicted for hiring undocumented laborers. While this practice is nothing new, the size of Advantage Framing’s scheme makes it news worthy.

According to news accounts, Advantage had 25-30 crews of 6 laborers working in the field and none of the laborers had work authorization paperwork. Advantage would pay the crew foreman with a check and he would in turn pay his crew in cash. Advantage instructed the laborers that if OSHA conducted a site inspection, they were to tell OSHA that they worked for a sub-contractor and not directly for Advantage.

Charges were brought against the owners, crew leaders, and the company on counts ranging from harboring illegal aliens to money laundering, which carry sentences up to 20 years and fines of up to $250,000. The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) also seized $270,000 in cash at the company’s headquarters.

Although this is an extreme example, it serves as a good example of a bad, and costly, business practice.

If you want to read more about the government’s case, take a look at ICE’s press release which provides more details.