Feds raid more than a dozen convenience stores and arrest owners and managers for allegedly exploiting foreign workers.
(NBC News) Immigration and homeland security agents raided more than a dozen 7-11 convenience stores in New York and Virginia this morning.
The multi-state investigation centers on the employment, harboring, and exploitation of illegal aliens by 7-eleven franchise store owners throughout the United States.
The stores involved are franchises.
They're not owned or operated by the 7-11 Corporation.
The company released a statement that says it's aware of the raids and cooperating fully with the investigation.
At least nine people, including franchise owners and store managers, have been arrested.
They're charged with harboring undocumented immigrants and not paying minimum wage to employees.
"Immigrant workers were routinely forced upon threat of job loss or deportation to work upwards of 100 hours a week, to live only in the houses the defendants owned and were given only a small percentage of the money they earned," said U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch.
Officials say some of the store managers were also using social security numbers of people who had died and young children as a part of their scheme.
"These defendants were pretty much motivated by greed and the money went to themselves, went to very large homes," Lynch said.
Authorities say their investigation is on-going and could lead to more arrests, and possible raids of stores in other states.
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