Willow Grove-based tree removal company Asplundh must pay $95 million to the federal government after admitting to employing undocumented immigrants, prosecutors announced Thursday.
The penalty is the largest ever in an immigration-related case, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. As part of Asplundh’s guilty plea, the company must pay $80 million in criminal forfeiture to the government as well as an additional $15 million to satisfy civil claims for failure to comply with immigration law.
Asplundh did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Thursday.
“Today marks the end of a lengthy investigation by ICE Homeland Security Investigations into hiring violations committed by the highest levels of Asplundh’s organization,” said ICE Acting Director Thomas Homan in a Department of Justice statement issued Thursday.
“Today’s judgment sends a strong, clear message to employers who scheme to hire and retain a workforce of illegal immigrants: we will find you and hold you accountable. Violators who manipulate hiring laws are a pull factor for illegal immigration, and we will continue to take action to remove this magnet.”