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3:16-po-00002-MCRI

IN

Date Filed 02/25/16

THE DISTRICT COURT


FOR THE DISTRICT
COLUMBIA

Entry Number 4

Page 1 of 11

OF THE UNITED STATES


SOUTH CAROLINA
DIVISION

Criminal-

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

No:

3:16-po-2

7.

PLEA AGRE

NT

HW GROUP LLC.

Genera]. Provisions

day of%/1

Thls PLEA AGREEMENT ls made thls

2076, between the United States of America, ds represented by

United States Attorney WILLIAM N. NETTLES, Assistant United


States Attorney Jim May; the Defendant, El{

GROUP,

LLC.,

and

Defendant's attorney, Debbie Barbier.

IN

CONSIDERATION

of the mutual promises made herein, the

parties agree as fol-l-ows:


1. The Defendant agrees to waj-ve Indictment and arraignment,

and plead guilty

to an fnformation charging, unlawful

employment of al-iens, in

viol-ation of Title

, United

States Code, S 7324a(a) (1) (A) and Title 18 United States


Code, S 2.

In order to sustain its burden of proof, the Government is


required to prove the followj-ng:

3:16-po-00002-MCRI

Count

Date Filed 02/25/16

Entry Number 4

Page 2 of 11

a.

the defendant as an owner of agricultural

b.

hired for employment aliens or caused to be hired for

land;

employment aliens;

c.

without complying with Title


Section

29, United States

Code,

1802.

The penalty for this offense is:

a fine of not more than $3,000 per unauthorized alien and or


not more than six

imprisonment of

months, plus a special

assessment of $10.

In order to sustain its burden of proof as to a viol-ation


of 1B U.S.C. S 2, the Government is

requi-red to prove the

following beyond a reasonabl-e doubt:


a.

The Defendant associated with the criminal conduct;

b.

The Defendant knowingly participated

conduct;
c.

in the criminal

and

The Defendant sought by its actions to make the

criminaf conduct succeed.


2.

The Defendant understands and agrees that


penalties

Ii. e.,

speciaJ_ assessments, fines

monetary

and other

payments required under the sentencel imposed by the court

are due immediately.

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Date Filed 02/25/16

Entry Number 4

Page 3 of 11

Special Assessment: Pursuant to 1B U.S.C.

53013,

the Defendant must pay a speciaJ_ assessment of


$10 for each misdemeanor count for which they are

convicted.

This special assessment must be paid

at or before the time of the guilty plea hearing.


B.

Fines: The Defendant understands that the Court


impose a fine pursuant to 18 U.S.C. SS

will

3571

and 3572.
3.

The Defendant understands


Government within

the

that
Plea

the obligations
Agreement are

contingent upon the Defendant and its

related

Of

the

expressly

entities

abiding by federal- and state Iaws and complying with

any

bond executed in this case. A "rel_ated entity,, is def ined

as any entity to which the Defendant l-eases its land and/or


is engaged with in the agricultural

business during the

probationary period. rn the event that the Defendant or its


related entities
of

this

to comply with any of the provisions

Agreement, either

Government will

void all

fail

of its

have the right,

express

dt its

or

implied,

sore erection,

the

to

obligations under this Agreement and the

Defendant will

not have any right to withdraw its plea of


guilty to the offense (s) enumerated herein.
Merger and Ottrer provisions

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3:16-po-00002-MCRI

The parties

Date Filed 02/25/16

Entry Number 4

have entered into this

Page 4 of 11

Prea Agreement under

Fed.R.Crim.P. 11(c) (1) (C) with the understanding that the


Court will

accept or reject

modify its

terms. If

the agreement but may not

the District

Court modifies

any

portj-on of the PIea Agreement, the Defendant has the right


to withdraw the guilty
Defendant stipulate

plea. The United States and the

and agree that

the following

is

an

appropriate sentence: (a) the Defendant corporation caused


to be employed between 300 and 350 al_iens without valid
documentatj-on; (b) the appropriate penalty in this case is

a fine of $1,000,000 and this penalty represents the total


amount to be paid by the Defendant pursuant to the guilty

plea and that no other fine,


fine or restitution
thls

case.

If

the

including any administrative

or forfeiture,
court,

shall be applicable in

after

reviewing this

agreement, and before accepting it,


provision

is

inapproprj-ate,

agreement, giving

the

Fed.R-crim.P. 11(c)(5),

it

concludes that

may reject

defendant,

the

plea
any

plea

in

accordance with

an opportunity

to withdraw the

guilty prea. The parties stipurate that on May 6, 2ol3 a


rerated entity of the Defendant received Form r-g
enforcement subpoenas and was audited by the Department of
Homerand security ("DHS-) The usAo and DHS agree that the
$

1, 000, 000

00

ine agreed to in this


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cri-mina1 case wirt

3:16-po-00002-MCRI

fully

Date Filed 02/25/16

related

Defendant and/or any of its


DHS

audit

commenced

5. The Parties agree that

entities

of the
resuJ-ting

on or about May 6, 2013.

the Defendant will

organizational probation for

be placed

on

period of four

(4) years

The following

terms of

from the date of sentencing.


probation are special

Page 5 of 11

administrative Iiability

resolve any and all

from the

Entry Number 4

terms of probation to which the

Defendant agrees to be subject in addition to al-l- standard

terms of probation:

it

a. The Defendant agrees that

sha1l not commit

further criminal viol-ations and will

comply fully

any

with

any future Eorm I-9 inspections ai-med at verifying


that the Defendant is

no longer employing illegaI

al-iens.

b. Defendant shall notify


officers,

j-ts related entities

Human Resources employees,

and any

and its
managers

invol-ved in the hiring and/or termination of employees

of its

criminal- behavior and remedial actions,

by

providing to them copies of the Exhlbit A. Statement


of Eacts, and Exhibit

B. Compliance and Monitoring

Program ("CMP") Eor a period of 48 months, defendant

and its

rel-ated entities

shall also post, in areas

frequented by and visible

to its employees, copies of

the

Employee Disclosure
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Statement,

Exhibit

C.

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Date Filed 02/25/16

Entry Number 4

Defendant and its related entities

Page 6 of 11

shall implement

and

continuously maintain, for the 4B-month probationary


period, the CMP. Every six months during the term of
defendant's probation, defendant shaII provide to the
USAO, the Department of Homeland Security,

Probatj-on Officer

reports in which it

describes the

defendant's progress in implementing the


in Exhibit B. The Defendant and its
agrees to

provide

training

employees with hiring

to

authority

and the

CMP

set forth

related entities
its

managers

and

about complying with

United States immigration l-aws. Training

shaII

be

accomplished within 90 days of sentencing.


C

The Defendant shall

notify

the probation officer

within seventy-two hours of any criminaf prosecution


against it or knowledge by an executi-ve officer of
referral

for potential

criminal

any

prosecution to the

United States Department of Justice from immigration


authoritles.
d.

The

Def

endant shall- designate an of f ic j-al of

organization

to

act

as

the

the

organization,

representative and to be the primary contact with the


United States Probation Office.
The Defendant and its
written

notice

related entities
the

to
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shall- provide

government and the

U. S.

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Date Filed 02/25/16

Entry Number 4

Page 7 of 11

Probation Office ten days prior to (i) any change of


its

corporate name, or

principal

(if)

any change in

business location or mailing address.

change in name, business reorganization,

change in ownership, or control

the
No

bankruptcy,

of the Defendant,

merger, change in legal status, purchase of assets, or


simil-ar action shalI alter
or its

or dimi-nish the

rel-ated enti-ties'oblj-gations

Def endant

under this plea

agreement. The Defendant further agrees that it will


not engage in any business reorganization, transfer of
ownership, corporate dissolution,

or other business

practi-ce, incJ-uding the sal-e or transfer of assets, in


order to avoid the obligations set forth in this plea
agreement.

6. The parties

entities

agree that

the Defendant and its

have a grace period of eighteen months (18) from

the date of sentencing to become fully


f

ederal

compliant with all-

immigration .l-aws, DHS agrees to

Defendant a list

provide

the

of employees determined to have suspect

documents as a resul-t of the Form r-9 audit.

return

rel-ated

the Eorms r-9

previously provided to

DHS

agrees to

and rerated paperwork that


DHS

or about May 6, 2013.

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was

via the r-9 audit commenced on

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7. Provided

Date Filed 02/25/16

Defendant and its

the

compliance with this

that

Defendant and its


national-s for

related

entities

related

not

impact the

entities

nonimmigrant visas,

to

are

they will

ability

of

sponsor foreign

including,

Iimited to, H-1B, H-28, and H-2A visas.


agrees that

Page 8 of 11

agreement, the United States agrees

agreement will

this

Entry Number 4

but

not

The United States

not make any referrals

to

any

agencies for debarment or suspension proceedings related to

the investigated conduct.


B. The Defendant represents

wj-th their
and for

attorneys
a sufficient

on

to the court that they have


a sufficient
period of

met

number of occasions

time to

discuss the

Defendant's case and receive advice; that the Defendant has

been truthful

with

their

attorneys

and related

all

information of which the Defendant is aware pertaining to


the case; that

the Defendant and their

attorneys

have

discussed possible defenses, Lf dDy, to the charges in the

rnformation including the existence of any excurpatory or


favorable evldence or witnesses, discussed the Defendant,

right to a public trial- by jury or by the court, the right


to the assistance of counsel- throughout the proceedings,
the right to call witnesses j-n the Defendant, s behalf and
comper thelr

attendance at trial- by subpoena, the right to

confront and cross-examine the government, s witnesses, the


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Date Filed 02/25/16

Defendant's right

to testify

Entry Number 4

in their

Page 9 of 11

own behalf,

or to

remain sil-ent and have no adverse inferences drawn from


their

silence; and that the Defendant, with the advice of

counsel, has weighed the relative

benefits of a trial-

by

jury or by the Court versus a plea of guilty pursuant to


this Agreement, and has entered this Agreement as a matter
of the Defendant's free and voluntary choice, and not as

resul-t of pressure or intimidation by any person.


9.

The Defendant is aware that 18 U.S.C. S 3742 and 28 U.S.C.

S 2255 afford every defendant certain rights to contest


conviction and/or sentence.

Acknowledging those rights,

the Defendant, in exchange for the concessions made by the


Government in this

Plea Agreement, waives the right

to

contest either the conviction or the sentence in any direct


appeal or

other post-conviction

action,

proceedings under 28 U.S.C. S 2255.

apply to claims of ineffective


prosecutorial

including

any

(Thi-s waiver does not

assistance of counsel or

misconduct raised pursuant to 28 U.S.C.

2255 . )
10

The Defendant waives all

rights,

whether asserted directly

or by a representati-ve, to request or receive from any


department or agency of the united States any records
pertaining to the investigation or prosecution of this
case, including wit.hout limitation
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any records that may be

3:16-po-00002-MCRI

Date Filed 02/25/16

sought under the

Entry Number 4

Page 10 of 11

of Informat j,on Act, 5

Freedom

U. S.

C.

552, or the Privacy Act of L914,5 U.S.C. S 552a.


11

The parties hereby agree that this PIea Agreement contains

the entire agreement of the parties;


supersedes aII

promlses,

prior

that this Agreement


representations

and

statements of the parties;

that this Agreement shal-l- not

binding on any party until

the Defendant tenders a plea of

guilty

to the court having jurisdiction

be

over this matteri

that this Agreement may be modified only in writing signed


by all

parties;

and that

any and al-l other promises,

representations and statements, whether made prior

to,

contemporaneous with or after this Agreement, are null- and

void.

DEFENDANT

Date
rs

/7

DATE

IE BARBIER
ORNEY FOR THE DEFENDANT
WILLIAM No NETTLES
UNITED STATES ATTORNEY

Z /

Date

Y (#1

5)

ITED STATE

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ATTORNEY

3:16-po-00002-MCRI

Date Filed 02/25/16

Entry Number 4

Page 11 of 11

IJ. S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE


Statement of Special Assessment Amount
This statement reflects your special assessment only. There may be
other penalties imposed at sentencing. This Special Assessment is
a

ACCOUNTINFORMATION
CRIMoACTION NO.:
DEFENDANT'SNAME:

HW GROUP LLC.

PAY THIS AMOUNT:

$10.00

PAYMENT DUE ON OR
BEFORE:

(date plea agreement signed)

MAKE CHECK OR MONEY ORDER PAYABLE TO:


CLERK, U.S. DISTRICT COURT
PAYMENT SHOULD BE SENT TO:
Clerk, U.S. District Court
Matthew J. Perry, Jr. Courthouse
901 Richland Street
Columbia, SC 29201
OR FIAND DELIVERED TO:

Clerk's Office
Matthew J. Perry, Jr. Courthouse
901 Richland Street
Columbia, SC 29201 (Mon. - Fri. 8:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.)
INCLUDE DEFENDANT'S NAME Oli CHECK OR MONEY ORDEY (Oo

NS!_send

cqsl)

ENCLOSE THIS COUPON TO INSURE PROPER and PROMPT APPLIC:ATIOIV OF PAYMENT