Eloy farm fined over employing illegal immigrants

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PHOENIX (AP) -

An Eloy farming company and one of its officers have been ordered to pay a $21,000 fine for knowingly employing illegal immigrants.

Federal prosecutors said Thursday that a U.S. magistrate also sentenced Falfa Farms 95 officer Brian Layton to two years' probation.

Authorities say Layton learned in late 2006 that seven of Falfa Farms' employees were Mexican citizens who lacked authorization to work or reside in the United States.

Under federal law, an employer must terminate an employee after making such a discovery.

Prosecutors say Falfa Farms later submitted work-authorization applications to the Department of Labor and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services on behalf of all seven employees.

They say Falfa Farms falsely certified that each of the seven wasn't a current employee and was living in Mexico.

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