Howard Industries pleads guilty to conspiracy
by Associated Press
Published: February 25,2011
LAUREL — One of Mississippi’s most successful private companies pleaded guilty yesterday to conspiracy to violate immigration laws related to the nation’s largest workplace raid on illegal immigrants, federal authorities said.
Immigration agents detained more than 600 illegal immigrants at Howard Industries’ electrical transformer plant in Laurel during a massive raid Aug. 25, 2008.
The company had repeatedly denied knowing that illegal immigrants worked at the plant, but pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to one count of conspiracy. The company agreed to pay a $2.5-million fine, which is larger than normal for such a conviction, the U.S. Justice Department said in a news release.
The company said in a statement that it was pleased to resolve the investigation “based on the actions of its former human resources manager Jose Humberto Gonzalez.”
Gonzalez is the only company executive who has been charged in the case. He pleaded guilty in Dec. 2009 to conspiracy and admitted that he hired hundreds of people who he knew were in the country illegally.
Gonzalez’s sentencing has been delayed several times without explanation while the investigation continued, leading legal experts to speculate that he’s been cooperating with investigators. His attorney did not immediately respond yesterday to messages from The Associated Press.
To sign up for Mississippi Business Daily Updates, click here.
Top Posts & Pages
- Telepak strikes another branding deal with C Spire
- South's oldest casino to reopen as Golden Nugget
- C Spire launches new WiFi On app for Android-powered phones
- At age 17, ‘the flagpole kid’ is already a business success story
- Doctor appeals Medicaid, Medicare fraud conviction
- School superintendent terminated after party funds, travel questions
- Airline announces new service at Oxford
- Appeals panel rules against town in race discrimination case
- Entrepreneurs want ordinance change to add micro-brewery