Local News

Vass firm charged in worker visa fraud scheme

Posted February 4

— A Vass company that secures foreign workers for agricultural and other work in the U.S. is accused of manipulating the worker visa program and illegally funneling people to companies.

A federal grand jury in Greensboro handed down a 41-count indictment last Friday against International Labor Management Corp., founder and owner Craig Stanford "Stan" Eury Jr. and president Sarah Elizabeth Farrell, who is Eury's daughter. The government is seeking to seize at least $1.1 million in property that authorities say was involved in the alleged illegal activities.

Kearns Davis, a Greensboro attorney representing Eury and Farrell, said they and the company "flatly deny" the allegations and will "aggressively defend" their operations.

"Since Stan founded ILMC in 1994, it has assisted hundreds of businesses across the country in navigating the complex guest-worker bureaucracy and paperwork process," Davis said in a statement. "In an industry that is closely scrutinized and politicized, they do the right thing for employers and guest workers while carefully following the law."

ILMC prepares and submits petitions to the government on behalf of clients to obtain temporary workers under H-2 visas. Visas for workers in non-agricultural industries are capped at 66,000 per year, and companies must demonstrate that they need the immigrant labor because they cannot find workers in the U.S.

The indictment alleges that, from late 2006 until last April, ILMC falsified visa applications by inflating the number of workers some companies needed and by creating bogus "winter companies" to apply for visas earlier in the year before the nationwide cap was reached. The fraudulent activities created a pool of visas that ILMC could use to shift workers to companies who wouldn't be able to obtain them otherwise, according to the indictment.

ILMC also shifted workers who obtained agricultural H-2 visas into non-agricultural industries to evade the nationwide cap on those visas, the indictment alleges. For example, nine foreign nationals who obtained visas for agricultural work in Fairfield were sent to work at an Outer Banks restaurant instead, according to the indictment.

10 Comments

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  • avwwoodland2 Feb 6, 12:25 p.m.

    I am wondering when our Government Agencies seem to be disinterested in following the current Immigration Laws (ie the millions who have crossed the Mexican border illegally) why are they spending so many resources and so much time on this Company and their activities, criminal or not.
    I am left to question whether this could be Politically motivated in any way.
    Hope WRAL will keep us informed with their discovery of truths, one way or
    another.
    Seems like an important issue especially in this particular election year.

  • TP4Real Feb 4, 7:28 p.m.

    And folks seem to think it's the immigrants that are to blame. If we didn't have NC BUSINESSMEN willing to hire them, illegally or otherwise, there wouldn't be a problem now.

  • Whistling Dixie Feb 4, 7:00 p.m.

    Yes, we can't!

  • jamesjohnson391 Feb 4, 6:49 p.m.

    NCFIRE tried to tell the NCGA but Thom Tillis, the NC Chamber of Commerce and Ag Industry got in the way and gutted our e-verify law.

  • capefearfire Feb 4, 6:20 p.m.

    Illegal alien hiring is sanctioned and promoted by NC Legislators. A 25 pg. immigration enforcement bill H786 was reduced to a 3 page illegal alien jobs loophole bill....which passed. How is that for bait and switch?

  • capefearfire Feb 4, 6:16 p.m.

    Thanks to NC House Speaker Thom Tillis and other AG Legislators David Lewis, Brent Jackson, Luis Pate, Nathan Ramsey, Chuck McGrady and John Szoka to name a few, E-Verify job protection (H786) was eliminated for seasonal labor jobs. NCFIRE, NCListen, and a small group of NC Reps. argued at the time that this was not just AG labor, but ALL "seasonal labor" jobs. Removing the E-Verify check promotes and facilitates illegal hiring. A green light for illegal immigration which floods taxpayer services such as education, health, and welfare programs. Wake up taxpayers!

  • colinmb123us Feb 4, 4:11 p.m.

    Where there's a government program without adequate oversite (all government programs), there... View More

    — Posted by common tater

    Yet when they attempt to increase taxes to provide adequate oversight I bet you'd complain about that.

  • disgusted2010 Feb 4, 2:13 p.m.

    Eury and Farrell didn't immediately respond Tuesday to requests for comment.

    How dare they not respond and incriminate themselves for WRAL's entertainment pleasure.

  • recontwice Feb 4, 1:56 p.m.

    Are we suppose to believe that the companies getting these workers were unaware of all this?

  • common tater Feb 4, 1:45 p.m.

    Where there's a government program without adequate oversite (all government programs), there will be abuse. Hope they throw the book at them.