Texas company sentenced for hiring illegal immigrants to work

Texas employment agency was sentenced to five years of probation for hiring illegal immigrants to work at the nation's top producer of military battlefield rations, federal prosecutors said.

The Tollin Group was also fined $20,000 (Ђ16,488) and ordered to pay $414,000 (341,302) in civil penalties Wednesday. It has been barred from Department of Defense contracts for three years. The company, which does business as Remedy Intelligent Staffing, pleaded guilty in January to hiring illegal immigrants and trying to cover it up by falsifying employment eligibility forms. The workers were hired for Wornick Co., which makes MREs, or "meals ready-to-eat."

The investigation was initiated in February 2003 after an al-Qaida operative was arrested with information pointing to McAllen and Wornick as terrorist targets. Wornick had been awarded a $47 million (38.75 million) contract to produce more than 1.1 million MREs for U.S. forces in Iraq.

The FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force ran background checks on Wornick employees and found hundreds of temporary employees with fraudulent documentation, reports the AP. I.L.