Report: Company Partly Owned by Dr. Oz Received the Largest Fine in ICE History


A tree-trimming business, which is partially owned by Dr. Mehmet Oz, a Pennsylvania Senate hopeful, and his wife’s family was fined $95 million in 2017 by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency for a ploy to knowingly employ illegal immigrants, the New York Post reported.

“The $95 million dollar recovery, including $80 million dollars criminal forfeiture money judgment and $15 million dollars in civil payment, represents the largest payment ever levied in an immigration case,” stated the 2017 press release from ICE.

The company pleaded guilty to unlawfully employing aliens. The press release added that the plea was “in connection with a scheme in which the highest levels of Asplundh management remained willfully blind while lower level managers hired and rehired employees they knew to be ineligible to work in the United States.”

“Today marks the end of a lengthy investigation by ICE Homeland Security Investigations into hiring violations committed by the highest levels of Asplundh’s organization,” said then-Acting ICE Director Thomas Homan at the time.

The Post reported on Dr. Oz and his wife’s connection with the company:

The company was co-founded by Carl Asplundh, the maternal grandfather of Lisa Oz and remains controlled by family members. Dr. Oz is listed as a “shareholder” in the company, according to federal filings which also show he donated $23,000 to the Asplundh Tree Expert Co. Political Action Committee.

Dr. Oz, a cardiothoracic surgeon and Oprah protege, injected some star power into a closely-watched GOP Senate primary in Pennsylvania. The fight to replace the state’s retiring Republican Sen. Pat Toomey is one of several races that will determine control of the Senate for the remainder of President Biden’s term in office.

In response to the Post, Dr. Oz’s campaign spokeswoman Erin Perrine said, “Neither Dr. Oz nor Lisa Oz have even worked at the company or had any involvement in decision-making regarding its business practices, period.”

“The company reached a civil settlement in 2017 with the federal government with no further action taken since then,” Perrine added. “Dr. Oz and Lisa Oz are passive shareholders in the company along with 200+ other family members. As passive, minority shareholders, Dr. Oz and Lisa Oz had zero involvement in the settlement.”

Jacob Bliss is a reporter for Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter.

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