A company that owns 11 McDonald's restaurants in the United States will
pay a $1 million fine for giving illegal immigrants false
Social Security numbers.
The U.S. Justice Department says one current and one former executive for the company, Mack Associates, and the company itself pleaded guilty to felony immigration offenses in a federal court Wednesday in the western state of Nevada.
Attorneys for the franchise pleaded guilty on behalf of the firm to one count of conspiring to encourage an illegal immigrant to live in the U.S., and one count of helping an illegal immigrant remain in the country.
The Justice Department says Mack Associates knew some employees were illegal immigrants and gave them names and Social Security numbers belonging to other people.
The department says the case was discovered after Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents raided 11 McDonald's restaurants in the Reno, Nevada, area in September and arrested 58 illegal immigrants.
The U.S. government assigns Social Security numbers to American citizens, legal permanent residents and non-citizens with permission to work in the country.
A Social Security number allows people to work legally in the U.S. and is used for taxation.
An estimated 12 million illegal immigrants are living in the United States.