Produce Company Fined $14.5 Thousand for I-9 Violations

On June 3, 2016, Judge Stacey S. Paddack, a Judge with the Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer ("OCAHO") ordered a Texas fruit and vegetable company to pay approximately $14,500 in fines for violations related to the company's Form I-9s. The amount ordered by Judge Paddack represented a reduction of more than half of the amount of the fine originally assessed by Immigration and Customs Enforcement which was $36,465. Judge Paddack ordered fruit and vegetable supplier Cawoods Produce Inc. to pay the fine of $14,575 having found the company liable for 26 violations which included eight violations of neglecting to prepare or present I-9 Forms and 18 violations for failure to properly complete the Form I-9. In rendering her decision, Judge Paddack said that "significant mitigating factors" were considered in assessing the penalty including the fact that Cawoods was a small business.