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Seaboard Foods Settles with DHS

11/15/2018

Seaboard Foods has announced settlement of a long-standing claim by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) over alleged errors in I-9 documentation. The company agreed to pay $1 million, but denies wrongdoing. The alleged discrepancies occurred between 2007 and 2012 and no criminal charges were filed.

In a statement issued by Seaboard, the company denied each and every allegation and explicitly emphasizes that the settlement is not an admission of liability. Darwin Sand, President and CEO of Seaboard Foods stated that he was pleased to have the matter resolved. He commented “Our company demands adherence to all laws, rules and regulations everywhere we operate and we take our compliance obligations seriously.” He added “in the settlement agreement, ICE and the State of Oklahoma employed company-wide compliance efforts both prior to and subsequent to the investigation.”

In many cases, regulations during the 2005 through 2010 period were vague and inadvertent non-compliance was common as evidenced by similar “no-wrongdoing” settlements by egg and broiler producers. These long-standing demands by ICE are thinly disguised shakedowns since the cost of defending civil actions and the need to divert executive time invariably justifies a settlement. On the basis of “you can’t fight City Hall”