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A Wichita corporation has agreed to plead guilty to a federal immigration charge, after an investigation revealed that the company had knowingly hired an undocumented worker.
U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom, in a Wednesday news conference, said the McCalla Corporation was charged with knowingly accepting a fraudulent identification document from an employee. The company operates six McDonald's restaurants in Wichita, and the employee was a manager at one of them.
As part of the plea agreement, the company agreed to pay a $300,000 fine and an additional $100,000 forfeiture judgement. A hearing is expected in federal court in about three weeks.
Grissom said this is the second time in two months that a Kansas company has been charged with knowingly employing undocumented workers. He called on all Kansas companies to strengthen their hiring practices. He said as an employer, it's not worth losing assets or paying a heavy fine in order to compete with other businesses.
Attorney Lee Thompson released a statement on behalf of the McCalla Corporation, saying this was an isolated incident based on one person who is no longer employed by the company.
The statement said, "The fact that one worker slipped through the cracks is not an indictment of the company's efforts to comply with the law."
Grissom disputed that statement, saying the case did not just involve one worker, it involved numerous workers.
"When you intentionally do something, it's not an honest mistake," Grissom said.