An executive of the parent company of a Lexington County farming operation paid $1 million to a federal judge in a fine for hiring as many as 350 workers illegally.
According to the State newspaper, HW Group, LLC admitted to the wrongdoing in court. HW Group is the land holding entity of Walter P. Rawl & Sons, a 91-year-old farming operation that grows vegetables.
The newspaper reported that the farm gave $20,000 a week over six years to a woman who would pay people in the county illegally to work at the farm. The scheme was discovered when a bank reported the woman making large cash deposits, prosecutors said.
The farm also agreed to spend four years on probation with its hiring monitored. The company will use the federal worker verification program E-Verify, even though by law it doesn’t have to.