Federal officials on Monday seized 7-Eleven franchises in New York and Virginia as part of an investigation into a ring of undocumented workers who were allegedly forced to work slave hours in a “modern day plantation system,” ABC News reported.
Nine individuals, including store owners and managers from ten New York franchises and four Virginia franchises, were charged with “conspiring to commit wire fraud, stealing identities and harboring undocumented immigrants,” according to federal prosecutor Loretta E. Lynch.
Federal authorities told ABC news that at least 18 undocumented workers, reportedly from Pakistan, were given identities stolen from children and deceased persons and forced to work 100 hours a week while paying rent to their employers to live in boarding houses.
“7-Eleven is aware of today’s activity and has been cooperating with federal authorities during their investigation,” Margaret Chabris, director of Corporate Communications for 7-Eleven, told ABC News. “We will have no further comment until we learn more.”