GUILDERLAND: Head staff pleads guilty

Again, under the direction of the former New Market Development manager, James Rice, Belvin admitted in his plea to have manipulated employee paperwork to keep illegal aliens employed. In one instance, a worker was fired under the name and Social Security number he had been using and then hired back under a new name and Social Security number.

Both Belvin and Rice were charged with felonies and face up to 10 years in prison and heavy fines when they are sentenced in June. The three other men pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges and face up to six months in prison and fines.

Charges remain pending against three other managers and the investigation is continuing.

Officials representing ICE, the New York State police, the Social Security administration, the Internal Revenue Service and more all attributed the success of the investigation to the collab-orative efforts of every agency involved.

"This is the type of cooperative law enforcement you write books about," said Suddaby.

According to Suddaby, this investigation would provide the basis by which future illegal alien investigations would operate, and management would continued to be targeted by law enforcement as a means to slow illegal operations happening at businesses like IFCO.

"We're not just rounding up illegal aliens," said Suddaby. "You're going after the reason they come."

An important reason this practice needs to be stopped, said Suddaby, is because industries employing illegal aliens have an unfair competitive advantage.

An owner of a local competitor of IFCO agreed.

"It was very tough to compete with them," said Sam Donadio, owner of Power Pallet in Amsterdam. Donadio said he was surprised at the findings of the investigation but added that IFCO's ability to offer its products at the prices they did now "made sense."

"The impact it can have on the local economy is significant," said Suddaby.

In a statement, IFCO defended its corporate policy and said it had cooperated fully with investigators. The company's guiding principle, the statement said, has always been to abide by federal and state employment laws and regulations.

"These events are deeply disturbing to the company," read the statement. "The government's allegations regarding certain events that occurred largely in Albanywere not part of any companywide plan, scheme or practice to violate the United States immigration laws."

No charges have been brought against the company.""

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