There are many types of potential penalties for employer I-9 violations. An employer may be civilly fined for paper work violations for failing to fill out and maintain I-9s correctly. In addition, employers can lose federal contracts and be issued cease and desist orders. There are also fines for EACH offense of employing unauthorized workers. For a first offense the employer may be fined between $275 - $2,000 for each unauthorized worker, for a second offense fines between $2,200 - $5,500 for each unauthorized worker, and for a third offense fines $3,300 - $11,000 for each unauthorized worker.
Criminal Penalties for I-9 Violations
For pattern and practice violations which are considered regular, repeated and intentional acts of I-9 violations, an employer faces a fine of $3,000 and up to 6 months in federal prison. For an employer who hires ten individuals over a twelve month period who also has actual knowledge the workers were not authorized, and also brought the workers to the U.S. illegally, the employer faces up to 5 years in prison. There is also the possiblity of charges for Social Security fraud which can result in fines up to $500,000 and prison. In addition, charges for making false attestations can be charged as a separate criminal offenses. Finally, making material misrepresentions for a federal officer can also be charged.
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