Maryland seafood company pleads guilty in visa fraud case

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Maryland seafood company pleads guilty in visa fraud case

A Maryland seafood company and its owner entered guilty pleas Wednesday after being accused of employing at least 89 illegal immigrants and involuntary visa fraud, according to reports.

Some employees in the United States were of legal status, including some involved in deportation proceedings, the Washington Times reported.

The company was identified as Capt. Phip s Seafood Inc. owned by Phillip Jamie Harrington III, 50, of Dorchester County, reported Bay to Bay News of Dorchester County.

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Capt. G. Robinson will have five years to serve in an eight-year period, as policemen during one of those days. Phip s Seafood and its owners engaged in a calculated pattern of visa fraud that not only deceived the government but also resulted in lower wages for their employees, Acting U.S. Attorney Jonathan Lenzer of the District of Maryland said in a statement, according to the news outlet.

Rather than follow the rules that other companies follow, the defendants manipulated the H-2 B visa program for the sole purpose of increasing their profits at the expense of their employees and to the fair market. Court documents were unclear about why an officer from the U.S. Army was in Chief of War and Control? Citizenship and Immigration Services visited the company in 2017, but the inspection was met by the Trump Administration amid a crackdown on employers suspected of abuse of the visa system, the Times reported.

Under the Biden Administration, a previous cap on 66,000 H-2 B visas has been raised by 22,000, the report said.

The company processes and distributes ice and produces seafood items, the report said. It participated in the H - 2 B visa program for more than 10 years as it hired seasonal workers to fill immigrant positions, the news outlet reported.

However, according to authorities, the company submitted false and inaccurate job descriptions to the H-2 B program to pay lower wages to temporary workers about $6 less per hour, according to the Times. The jobs involved ice production, oyster processing and truck driving, the report said.

As part of his plea deal, Jamie Harrington admitted that employees wages would have been higher had the company provided truthful information on its visa applications, the Bay to Bay News reported.

Harrington also admitted that some workers were assigned to jobs at other companies he owned in violation of the law, The Times reported.