George Valvanis, 53, of Atkinson, N.H., was sentenced to six months of home confinement, fined $64,000, and placed on five years probation with a condition of 20 hours per month of community service. Valvanis had pleaded guilty in December 2010 to one count of engaging in a pattern or practice of recruiting or hiring illegal aliens and to one count of using a false attestation in an immigration document.
According to court records, Valvanis knowingly employed illegal aliens to work in his stores between 2001 and 2009. The records also show that he used an illegal alien's false attestation of U. S. citizenship in an employment eligibility immigration I-9 form in order to comply with the government's employment eligibility verification system.
"We continue to focus our attention on those who knowingly employ illegal workers," said Bruce M. Foucart, special agent in charge of ICE HSI in New England. "The goal is to have a legal, compliant workforce in New England, and to promote our efforts in a way that serves as a warning to violators of the law that eventually you will get caught."
In pronouncing sentence, U.S. District Judge Brock D. Hornby observed that the immigration laws must be respected and enforced, and he suggested that Mr. Valvanis' community service be geared toward educating employers about the importance of complying with the nation's immigration laws.
The sentence was announced by the U.S. Attorney for the District of Maine, Thomas E. Delahanty II.
Effective worksite enforcement plays an important role in the fight against illegal immigration. ICE has developed a comprehensive worksite enforcement strategy that promotes national security, protects critical infrastructure and targets employers who violate employment laws or engage in abuse or exploitation of workers. Click here to learn more.