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Showing posts from August, 2010

Texas Chemical Plant to Pay Nearly $1.5 Million to Resolve Violations in the Transferring of Acid Waste

WASHINGTON – Air Products LLC has agreed to pay $1.485 million in civil penalties to resolve hazardous waste mismanagement violations at its Pasadena, Texas, chemical manufacturing facility, the Justice Department, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the state of Texas announced today. The settlement resolves Air Products’ Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) violations in transferring spent acid to the neighboring Agrifos Fertilizer Inc. manufacturing plant.

As part of the settlement, Air Products has agreed to continue to manage the spent acid on-site and not ship it to Agrifos or any other facility not authorized to accept it. Air Products is currently in compliance with the RCRA requirements specified in the settlement. Air Products has agreed to notify EPA and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality in the event that the spent acid is either disposed of or sent off site.

Public Relations Firm to Settle FTC Charges that It Advertised Clients' Gaming Apps Through Misleading Online Endorsements

A public relations agency hired by video game developers will settle Federal Trade Commission charges that it engaged in deceptive advertising by having employees pose as ordinary consumers posting game reviews at the online iTunes store, and not disclosing that the reviews came from paid employees working on behalf of the developers.

“Companies, including public relations firms involved in online marketing need to abide by long-held principles of truth in advertising,” said Mary Engle, Director of the FTC’s Division of Advertising Practices. “Advertisers should not pass themselves off as ordinary consumers touting a product, and endorsers should make it clear when they have financial connections to sellers.”

Allegiance Industries Pays $25,000 to Settle EEOC Gender Discrimination Lawsuit

Female Supervisor Was Fired by District Manager Who Wanted a Man in Her Position, Federal Agency Charged

ATLANTA – Allegiance Industries, Inc., a cleaning service company with work sites throughout the Atlanta area, will pay $25,000 to settle a gender discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.

The agency had alleged that Allegiance Industries, Inc. discriminated against Brenda Lowery, a female cleaning team supervisor, by firing her in July 2009 because the district manager wanted a male supervisor at the cleaning site where she worked. Immediately after Lowery was fired, Allegiance Industries placed a male supervisor at the work site that she supervised.

DISTRICT ATTORNEY VANCE ANNOUNCES 147-COUNT INDICTMENT OF CAREER SCAMMER IN POSSESSION OF MORE THAN 800 STOLEN CREDIT REPORTS

Defendant Compromised the Identities of More Than 750 People Across the U.S.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., today announced the indictment of IGUOSADE OSAHON, 28, for stealing more than $500,000 by exploiting stolen identity information over a three-year period. OSAHON stole the names, dates of birth, and Social Security numbers of more than 750 individuals to obtain at least 800 credit reports, which in turn he used to perpetrate a variety of identity theft scams. OSAHON has been charged in a 147-count indictment with Computer Tampering, Grand Larceny, Identity Theft, and Scheme to Defraud, among other charges.[1] The crimes charged in the indictment occurred between November 2007 and February 2010.

“Victims of identity theft can spend years fighting to recoup losses and regain their financial standing,” said District Attorney Vance. “The Internet is now the crime scene of the 21st Century. We must prevent and prosecute these crimes with vigor, and continue to push …

ATTORNEY GENERAL CUOMO BRINGS CHARGES AGAINST WNY MAN WHO ALLEGEDLY RAN DEBT COLLECTION BUSINESS FROM PRISON

Lamont Cooper’s employees posed as law enforcement, threatened to throw consumers in jail if they didn’t pay debts
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Latest action in Cuomo’s ongoing investigation into debt collection industry


BUFFALO, N.Y. (August 25, 2010) - Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo today announced criminal charges against Lamont Cooper, 38, formerly of Heritage Drive in Lancaster, for allegedly operating his Buffalo-based debt collection agency while incarcerated in federal prison on unrelated charges. Cooper was previously barred by court order from the debt collection industry in 2009 after Attorney General Cuomo’s Office determined that his operation regularly used threats and intimidation against consumers.

According to the felony complaint, Cooper continued to operate CMC Recovery Services, Inc., d/b/a Legal Action Recovery located on Bailey Avenue in Buffalo in violation of a May 2009 court order barring him from the business. Cooper and CMC Recovery Services were charged in Buffalo City Court with S…

DNA Helps Nab L.A.'s Suspected Westside Rapist

LOS ANGELES - Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. announced today that accused Westside Rapist John Floyd Thomas, Jr., who is scheduled to appear in a Los Angeles courtroom today, was apprehended in pursuit of DNA evidence in the Grim Sleeper serial murder case.

Thomas is accused of murdering seven women in Los Angeles and is a suspect in as many as two dozen other murders.

Cheese Manufacturer Sorrento Lactalis to Pay U.S. $315,000 for Exceeding Discharge Levels into Idaho’s Mason Creek

WASHINGTON – Cheese manufacturer Sorrento Lactalis Inc. will pay the United States a $315,000 penalty for excess discharges in violation of its wastewater permit levels, according to an agreement between the company, the Justice Department and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The company discharged the excess pollutants into Mason Creek from its factory operations in Nampa, Idaho, in violation of the Clean Water Act.

Sorrento, which treats wastewater in a facility separate from its cheese-making plant, repeatedly violated its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit over a period of three years from December 2005 to September 2008.

Georgia Manufacturer of Food Service Equipment Hardware Pays $3.3 Million Fine for Role in Customer Allocation Conspiracy

WASHINGTON—A New York corporation, whose principal place of business is Newnan, Ga., was sentenced to pay a $3.3 million criminal fine for conspiring to allocate customers in the food service equipment hardware market, including walk-in refrigeration equipment, the Department of Justice announced today.

Kason Industries Inc., a food service equipment manufacturer, pleaded guilty on May 19, 2010, in U.S. District Court in Atlanta. Kason Industries and its former president, Peter A. Katz, were charged on May 6, 2010, with one count of participating in a conspiracy from December 2004 until at least December 2008, to allocate customers for food service equipment hardware sold in the United States and elsewhere. The department said that the purpose of the conspiracy was to reduce and eliminate competition in the sale of the food service equipment hardware manufactured or sold by Kason Industries, Katz and their co-conspirators. Katz, who also pleaded guilty, is scheduled to be sentenced on…

KobeWieland Copper Sued for Disability Discrimination

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today announced it has filed a disability discrimination lawsuit against KobeWieland Copper Products, LLC (KobeWieland) for failing to hire an individual because of his perceived disability at its facility in Pine Hall, North Carolina. KobeWieland manufactures and sells copper tubing, and employs over 500 associates between its two plants in Pine Hall, NC and Wheeling, IL.

According to the EEOC’s complaint, KobeWieland failed to hire Joseph Cardwell for a full-time caster position because it regarded him as being disabled. Due to a childhood accident, Cardwell lost fingers on his left hand. Cardwell was offered a position by KobeWieland on September 24, 2008. However, when Cardwell reported for his first day of work, KobeWieland’s Human Resource Specialist noticed that Cardwell was missing fingers, and rescinded the offer of employment. The Human Resources Specialist stated that he was concerned that Cardwel…

DISTRICT ATTORNEY VANCE ANNOUNCES INDICTMENT IN 2000 RAPE CASE

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., today announced the indictment of RAJEEV KUMAR, 30, in the 2000 rape of a New York University School of Law student. KUMAR is charged with Rape in the First Degree and Sodomy in the First Degree. In 2000, the victim told police she was raped in a limousine. A rape kit was collected from the victim, and although DNA was recovered, no matches were found. In 2009, KUMAR was convicted of arson after setting a limousine on fire in Queens. His DNA, which was collected upon his conviction, matched the 2000 rape.

“DNA evidence brings life to cold cases and delivers justice for victims, like the one in this case, who believe their cases might never be solved,” said District Attorney Vance. “Earlier this year my Office pushed to expand our DNA database by requiring DNA collection upon conviction for all Penal Law crimes. This will not only solve crimes, but save lives by catching repeat offenders before they can strike again. The success of the D…

ATTORNEY GENERAL CUOMO SHUTS DOWN SEVEN COMPANIES FOR PROVIDING FRAUDULENT LEGAL SERVICES TO IMMIGRANT COMMUNITIES

NEW YORK, NY (August 17, 2010) - Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the latest actions in his ongoing effort to combat scams that target New York’s immigrant communities. As part of his broad investigation into immigration fraud, Cuomo has shut down seven companies and sued two other organizations for providing fraudulent legal services to immigrants.

The following seven companies and their owners have been permanently barred from operating any immigration services businesses and must collectively pay $370,000 in damages to the State of New York: (1) Centro Santa Ana, Inc. and Ana Lucia Baquero, in Queens; (2) Margo’s Immigration Services and Margarita Davidov a/k/a Margo Davidov, in Queens; (3) Miguel Fittipaldi, J.D., Ltd. and Miguel Fittipaldi, in Manhattan; (4) Arthur C. Hurwitz, in Manhattan; (5) Oficina Legal Para Hispanos, P.C. and Geoffrey S. Stewart, in Manhattan; (6) Asilos and Camilo Perdomo, in Queens; and (7) Mision Hispana, Inc. and Mayra Liz, in Queens.

Hillsborough Restaurant Sued By EEOC For Sexual Harassment And Retaliation

Women Fired for Objecting to Misconduct by Manager, Federal Agency Charged

CHARLOTTE , N.C. – A Hillsborough, N.C., restaurant violated federal law by subjecting a class of female employees to a sexually hostile work environment, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed today. The EEOC’s lawsuit further charged that at least one female employee quit her job because of the sexual harassment and that the company, which operates “Vinny’s Italian Grill,” fired two other female employees in retaliation for complaining about the sexual harassment.

According to the EEOC’s suit, Hillsborough Pizzeria, Inc., doing business as Vinny’s Italian Grill, created and maintained a hostile working environment for Jacqueline Sorrell and a class of similarly situated female employees based on their sex, female. According to the complaint, from at least April 2008 until at least May 2009, a male manager for Vinny’s Italian Grill subjected Sorrell and other female …

Ernest G. Fink, Jr., Pleads Guilty to Largest Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Fraud in USDOT History

HARRISBURG, PA—Ernest G. Fink, Jr. 64, of Orwigsburg, Pa., pleaded guilty today before Senior U.S. District Court Judge Sylvia H. Rambo to conspiracy to defraud the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) and commit wire and mail fraud in connection with a $136 million disadvantaged business enterprise (DBE) fraud scheme, which is the largest DBE fraud in USDOT history, announced the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. According to U.S. Attorney Peter J. Smith, Fink faces up to five years in prison; $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss in fines; and mandatory restitution as a result of his guilty plea. No date has been set for sentencing.

Fink was part-owner and chief operating officer of Schuylkill Products Inc. (SPI) and its wholly-owned subsidiary CDS Engineers Inc. until April 2009 when SPI was sold. SPI was based in Cressona, Pa., and manufactured concrete bridge beams used on highway construction projects in Pennsylvania and surrounding states. …

Six Indictments Returned After Extensive Jacksonville Child Prostitution Investigation

JACKSONVILLE, FL—United States Attorney A. Brian Albritton announces the return by federal grand juries of six indictments based on crimes discovered during "Operation Abandoned Hope," an extensive investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office into child prostitution allegations of sex trafficking of a minor (a girl, age 15) between February 24, 2010 and March 31, 2010:

Ian Sean Gordon (age 29, of Tallahassee) was indicted on May 13, 2010, and charged with sex trafficking of a minor. Among other things, the indictment charges that Gordon enticed the minor, who was forced to engage in commercial sex acts. If convicted as charged, Gordon faces a minimum mandatory penalty of 15 years to a maximum penalty of life in federal prison.

FTC Order Protects Consumers in U.S. Market for Eye Care Drug Used in Cataract Surgery

Novartis Must Sell Assets to Bausch & Lomb After Acquiring Alcon

Novartis AG will be required to sell an injectable eye care drug used in cataract surgery as part of a settlement which resolves Federal Trade Commission charges that Novartis’s proposed acquisition of Alcon, Inc., would be anticompetitive. Novartis and Alcon are the only two U.S. providers of the class of drugs known as injectable miotics, and the FTC alleges that the acquisition would have created a monopoly in injectable miotics. The settlement requires Novartis to sell its drug Miochol-E to Bausch & Lomb, Inc.

Injectable miotics are a class of prescription drugs used to induce miosis, or constriction of the pupil. Primarily surgeons use miotics during cataract surgery to shrink the pupil, which helps them determine whether a rupture has occurred in the eye. The only two miotics products in the market are Miochol-E, owned by Novartis, and Miostat, owned by Alcon. U.S. sales of injectable miotics totaled $12.4 …

Uzbek Man Pleads Guilty to Racketeering Charges

WASHINGTON – Ilkham Fazilov pleaded guilty today to racketeering conspiracy for his role in a criminal enterprise that engaged in numerous criminal activities including forced labor, fraud in foreign labor contracting, visa fraud, mail fraud, identity theft, tax evasion and money laundering, the Justice Department announced today.

According to court documents, Fazilov performed payroll functions and executed fraudulent petitions for foreign workers. Fazilov also opened bank accounts for the unlawful transfer of proceeds to facilitate criminal enterprise activities.

Blackberry Torch

Former Defense Department Contract Employee Pleads Guilty to Bribery and Money Laundering Scheme Related to Contracts in Support of Iraqi War

Agrees to Forfeit $650,000 to U.S. Government

WASHINGTON - A former contract employee of the U.S. Defense Department (DoD) pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to bribe U.S. Army contracting officials stationed at Camp Arifjan, an Army base in Kuwait, and to money laundering conspiracy, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer for the Criminal Division.

According to the court documents filed today in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Wajdi Birjas, 39, of Evansville, Ind., was a contract employee in the Host Nation Affairs office at Camp Arifjan between approximately 2004 and August 2007. In this position, his responsibilities included identifying Kuwaiti companies able to provide certain goods and services to the U.S. military in Kuwait. Through his work, Birjas had frequent contact with Army contracting officials, including officials who were regularly receiving unlawful payments from individuals who had contracts with, or were seeking contracts from…

ICE's Operation Community Shield goes global with new task force in Honduras Operation Double Impact from the videographer's view

"We knew these operations were different from the states. There was a feeling of heightened awareness of our surroundings and increased tension in the air. Shootings and murders are taking place all over the city on a daily basis. When we were driving to a location downtown to look for gang members, we saw a body with a gunshot wound to the head lying on the sidewalk. " - Chuck Reed, ICE video production specialist

In Honduras, on assignment for Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Video Production Specialist Chuck Reed kept his camera rolling nearly nonstop for three days in May during Operation Double Impact. While Reed is routinely behind the lens of live police action, the prospect of filming ICE/HSI agents and Honduras National Police (HNP) as they scoured the Tamara Prison and the Honduras streets, targeting Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) and the 18th Street (M-18) gangs, made him "a little nervous."

“Grandad Bandit” Accused of Robbing 25 Banks in 13 States Arrested

RICHMOND, VA—Michael Francis Mara, 52, of Baton Rouge, La., a/k/a the “Grandad Bandit,” was arrested today by the FBI in Baton Rouge for robbing at least 25 banks in 13 states in less than two years.

Neil H. MacBride, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Michael Morehart, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Richmond Division; Alex J. Turner, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Norfolk Division; and David W. Welker, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI New Orleans Division, made the announcement.

EEOC Sues Princeton Healthcare System for Disability Discrimination

Federal Agency Says Health Care Provider Unlawfully Fired Employees Who Needed Medical Leave

NEWARK, N.J. – Princeton HealthCare System, which operates a hospital and provides other health care services, violated federal law by failing to reasonably accommodate the needs of its employees who needed medical leave, and then firing them because of their disabilities, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it filed today.

According to the EEOC’s suit, Princeton HealthCare System enforces leave policies that do not provide reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with a disability. Princeton HealthCare fires employees who are not qualified for leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) if they cannot return to work within seven days, and refuses to grant leave beyond the 12 weeks allowed by the FMLA. Princeton HealthCare System does not grant exceptions to these policies for qualified individuals with disabilities who need additional lea…

Elmer W. Davis To Pay $1 Million To Settle EEOC Race Discrimination Lawsuit

Roofing Company Charged with Racial Harassment, Discriminatory Job Assignments, and Failure to Promote African-American Employees

ROCHESTER, N.Y. - Elmer W. Davis, Inc., the largest commercial roofing contractor in New York State and one of the top 40 largest commercial roofing contractors in the United States, will pay $1 million to African-American employees to settle a race discrimination lawsuit brought by the U. S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today. This is the largest EEOC settlement ever in Rochester.

The EEOC’s lawsuit (Civil Action No. 07-CV-06434), filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York in Rochester in 2007, charged that black employees at Elmer Davis were subjected to a pattern of race discrimination, including harassment, unfair work assignments, failure to be promoted, and retaliation for complaining about discrimination from at least 1993 through the present.

EEOC Gets "Cheaters" To Change Ways In Settling Sex Harassment Suit

Owner and President of Randy TV Show Subjected Two Women to a Sexually Hostile Work Environment, Federal Agency Charged

DALLAS – The companies that own and produce the Dallas-based “Cheaters” television show have paid $50,000 and will furnish other relief to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and two female claimants, the agency announced today.

According to the EEOC’s lawsuit against Bobby Goldstein Productions, Inc., and Cheaters II, Ltd. (Civil Action No. 3:08-CV-1912-P), two female office assistants were subjected to sexually explicit remarks and unwelcome touching from the companies’ owner and upper management staff for the duration of their employment. The EEOC said that this behavior included frequent comments and jokes of a sexual nature, propositions for sex, and unwanted aggressive physical advances. The EEOC further charged that there was no effective outlet for complaints about the behavior because members of…

DISTRICT ATTORNEY VANCE ANNOUNCES INDICTMENT OF PHONY LAWYER FOR DEFRAUDING HAITIAN IMMIGRANTS

Defendant Defrauded at Least Six Victims; Claimed He Was Employed by the United Nations

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., today announced the indictment of MARC PAYEN, 28, for posing as an immigration lawyer and immigration services provider employed by the United Nations (“UN”), and stealing more than $12,500 from at least six immigrant victims.[1] PAYEN has been charged in a 23-count indictment with Grand Larceny, Forgery, Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument, Scheme to Defraud, and the Unauthorized Practice of Law.

“The defendant is an opportunist who preyed upon vulnerable immigrants, and stepped up his scheme in the aftermath of the earthquake that struck Haiti earlier this year,” said District Attorney Vance. “My office will continue to aggressively investigate and prosecute these types of scams, and I encourage anyone who has fallen victim to one to call the Immigrant Affairs Program at 212-335-3600.”

Health care credit card scheme preys on seniors and vulnerable patients

NEW YORK, NY (August 9, 2010) - Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the expansion of an industry-wide investigation into predatory health care lending where consumers, especially seniors and vulnerable patients, are misled about financing, causing them to be pushed into debt.

An investigation by Attorney General Cuomo found that some health care providers use fast-talking sales pitches to pressure and deceive consumers into applying for health care credit cards such as Chase Health Advance, Citi Health, and GE Money’s CareCredit. The investigation also found that CareCredit pays kickbacks in the form of rebates to the providers based on how much business they charge consumers on CareCredit cards.

United States Takes Action to Reduce Hazards from Fertilizer Manufacturing Plant in Florida

WASHINGTON - CF Industries Inc. (CFI) has agreed to spend approximately $12 million to implement facility-wide operational changes to reduce and properly manage hazardous wastes generated at its Plant City, Fla., phosphoric acid and ammoniated fertilizer manufacturing facility, the Justice Department and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today. The settlement resolves CFI’s Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) violations and requires the company to pay a civil penalty of $701,500 and provide $163.5 million in financial assurances to guarantee appropriate closure and long-term care of the facility. This is the first case concluded under EPA’s National Enforcement Initiative for Mining and Mineral Processing.

CFI, a manufacturer of phosphate and nitrogen fertilizers, operates a 400-acre phosphogypsum stack and associated ponds for storing mineral processing wastes from its phosphoric acid production operations, in which the company was commingling hazardous wastes…

Mountain River Trucking Company Sued by EEOC for Sex Harassment and Retaliatory Discharge

Male Owner Sexually Harassed Female Employees, Fired Female Employee for Complaining About Harassment, Federal Agency Charged

GREENSBORO, N.C. – A Mount Airy, N.C.-based freight transportation and delivery company violated federal law by subjecting female employees to a hostile work environment, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed on 08/04/2010.

According to the EEOC’s lawsuit against Mountain River Trucking Company, Inc., Della Francis and other female employees were sexually harassed by the company’s president and owner from approximately September 2007 through March 2008. Specifically, from October through November 2007, the owner made explicit sexual comments to Francis on a near-daily basis, including comments about the size of his private parts and his sexual prowess. He also told stories about sexual encounters he had with women, including his wife. The owner also showed Francis photos on his computer of nude women he wanted to hav…

ATTORNEY GENERAL CUOMO FILES ANTITRUST LAWSUIT AGAINST PRICE FIXING CARTEL OF LCD PANEL MANUFACTURERS

Lawsuit seeks to recover damages suffered by New York State governmental and other public entities from illegal price fixing conspiracy

NEW YORK, NY (August 6, 2010) - Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo today filed an antitrust action against several major technology companies for illegally fixing prices for liquid crystal display (“LCD”) screens used in computers, televisions, and cell phones.

The lawsuit seeks to recover damages suffered from 1996 to 2006 by New York State and other public purchasers - local governments, schools, hospitals, and colleges, among others - that purchased computers and other goods containing the price-fixed screens. The suit seeks damages, restitution, and civil penalties.

Federal Jury in Louisville Convicts Karen Cunagin Sypher in Connection with $10 Million Extortion Attempt of Richard Pitino

LOUISVILLE—A federal jury today convicted 50-year-old Karen Cunagin Sypher of attempting to extort $10 million from University of Louisville men’s head basketball coach Rick Pitino, announced U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky David J. Hale and Elizabeth A. Fries, Special Agent in Charge, Kentucky Office of the FBI.

Following eight days of trial, the jury convicted Sypher on all counts contained in a superseding indictment returned in November 2009 including three counts of extortion, two counts of making false statements to FBI agents, and one count of witness retaliation.

CBP Officer Pleads Guilty to Alien Smuggling and Bribery

BROWNSVILLE, TX—A Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer has been convicted of alien smuggling and bribery, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today.

At a hearing late Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2010, on the eve of jury selection for trial, Rudy Trace Soliz, III, 44, of Brownsville, pleaded guilty to two counts of an indictment. He admitted that on Sept. 25 2009, while serving as a public official—a Department of Homeland Security CBP officer—he knowingly allowed a 28-year-old female co-conspirator to bring in aliens and merchandise through his vehicle inspection lane at the B&M International Bridge in return for sexual favors with the co-conspirator.

Arizona Truck Stop to Pay $70,000 to Settle EEOC Suit Charging Sex Harassment by Customers

EEOC Says Love’s Travel Stops and Country Stores Tolerated Hostile Workplace

PHOENIX – The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today announced that Love’s Travel Stops and Country Stores, Inc. will pay $70,000 as part of a settlement of a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by the EEOC. The EEOC had charged that Love’s subjected two young female cashiers to repeated and serious sex-based abuse by customers.

According to the EEOC, the victims of the case, two cashiers working at Love’s Buckeye, Ariz., truck stop, aged 18 and 20 at the start of their employment, were sexually harassed frequently. The cashiers detailed extensive sexual harassment caused by truck drivers, some of whom were regular customers of Love’s. The EEOC alleged that Love’s customers sexually harassed the cashiers by engaging in conduct that included unwanted sexual touching and pressing; crude and obscene remarks; sexual demands and innuendos; handing one victim an obscene card; and demands for personal…