Thumb couple charged in probe of dairy farm labor - WNEM TV 5

Thumb couple charged in probe of dairy farm labor

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MARLETTE, MI (AP) -

Agents went undercover to build a case against a couple in Michigan's Thumb region who are charged with conspiring to supply dairy farms with workers who were living in the U.S. illegally.

A criminal complaint filed in federal court describes a long-running scheme that involved phony identification and trips to a bank to cash nearly $2 million in paychecks.

Yolanda and Ralph Stewart of Sanilac County were released on bond last week. Messages seeking comment from their lawyer weren't immediately returned Monday.

Investigators say Yolanda Stewart charged workers as much as $450 to get a job at dairy farms.

It's not the first case. In 2011, the owners of a 5,000-cow farm near Bad Axe were placed on probation for employing dozens of people who were in the U.S. illegally.

Copyright 2015 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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