Woman pleads guilty in probe of illegal labor at dairy farms

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

RUTH, Mich. (AP) — A judge has accepted a guilty plea in an investigation of illegal labor at dairies in Michigan’s Thumb region.

Madeline Burke pleaded guilty to hiring people without verifying that they were eligible to work in the U.S. The government says the workers were in the U.S. illegally.

Burke and her husband are natives of Ireland. They operate two dairies near the tip of the Thumb. Burke has agreed to pay a fine of $187,500, which adds up to $1,500 per illegal worker.

Federal Judge Thomas Ludington accepted her guilty plea in a June 29 decision.

Charges still are pending against her husband, Denis Burke. He’s accusing prosecutors of selectively targeting immigrant farmers. Dutch immigrants John and Anja Verhaar were prosecuted in 2010. The government denies any discrimination.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s