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SV businessman pleads guilty to hiring illegals

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SV businessman pleads guilty to hiring illegals

Sun Drywall president will pay $550K in restitution

A Sonoran man pleaded guilty Friday to charges related to hiring illegal immigrants to work for his Sierra Vista drywall business and will pay $550,000 in restitution, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Monday.

Ivan T. Hardt, of Cananea, is the president of Sierra Vista-based Sun Drywall. He pleaded guilty to harboring illegal aliens for profit and unlawful employment of aliens.

He agreed to pay $225,000 to the Department of Labor for overtime wages and $225,000 in property forfeiture to ICE, said Manny Tarango, a U.S. Attorney’s Office spokesman.

Under the terms of his plea agreement, the company cannot knowingly hire, recruit or employ undocumented workers and will be required to provide employment verification forms for all employees. He also waived notice of employee-inspection files, Tarango said.

Hardt was arrested after a 16-month federal investigation. In 2007, ICE agents found that at least 27 people employed by Hardt lacked legal documents to work in the United States, Tarango said.

If Hardt complies with the terms under the plea agreement, he will spend no more than six months in prison with probation and a conspiracy charge will be dismissed. The company would be on five years probation with provisions for inspection of records by federal authorities, Tarango said.

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