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Jun 17, 2013 10:04 AMPublication: The East Hampton Press

UPDATE: Sag Harbor 7-Eleven Reopens After Raid By Feds in ID Theft, Labor Exploitation Probe

Jun 19, 2013 12:48 PM
UPDATE, Wednesday, 11 a.m.

The Sag Harbor 7-Eleven reopened for business on Tuesday.

UPDATE, 8:30 p.m.

Federal authorities said they forfeited the franchise, the 7-Eleven corporation took over the stores and they will continue to run, but it was not immediately clear when they would reopen.

UPDATE, 3:30 p.m.

The Sag Harbor 7-Eleven was one of 14 such convenience stores on Long Island and in Virginia seized by federal authorities on Monday in a crackdown that also charged nine store owners and operators with conspiring to commit wire fraud, stealing identities and concealing and harboring illegal immigrants.

The indictments, arrests and seizures are the result of one of the largest criminal immigrant employment investigations ever conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security, officials said.

The indicted employees are accused of employing more than 50 illegal immigrants at the stores since 2000, giving them identities stolen from U.S. citizens, housing them in homes owned by the defendants, and stealing significant portions of their wages.

Those charged are Farrukh Baig, 57, and his wife, Bushra Baig, 49, both of Head of Harbor; Mr. Baig's brothers, Zahid Baig, 52, of Chesapeake, Virginia, and Shannawaz Baig, 62, of Virginia Beach, Virginia; as well as Malik Yousaf, 51, of South Setauket; Tariq Rana, 34, of Chesapeake, Virgina; Ramon Nanas, 49, and Azhar Zia, 49, both of Great River; and Ummar Uppal, 48, of Islip Terrace.

The government has moved to forfeit the franchise rights to 7-Elevens in Sag Harbor, Greenport, Cutchogue, Islip, Selden, Nesconset, Port Jefferson Station, Smithtown, Huntington and Islip Terrance, on Long Island, as well as in Norfolk, Portsmouth and two in Chesapeake, in Virginia. It has also moved to forfeit five houses in New York.

"The 7-11 franchises seized today will be better known for their big fraud than their Big Gulp," U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent-in-Charge James T. Hayes, Jr. said in a statement.

The identity theft victims hail from seven states, range in age from 8 to 78, and include a child, three dead people and a Coast Guard cadet, authorities said.



ORIGINAL STORY:

A "major alien harboring and identity theft" case involving 7-Elevens nationwide—including the one in Sag Harbor—has resulted in multiple arrests, according to the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The stores were raided by federal agents and local police early Monday morning as part of a "worksite enforcement investigation" into identity theft and labor exploitation, officials said.

They declined to provide further details until an 11 a.m. press conference to be held by U.S. Attorney Loretta E. Lynch in Brooklyn, at which she is to announce the filing of charges against multiple defendants.

Federal investigators were seen in the Sag Harbor 7-Eleven on Monday morning, and New York State Police hollered out to drivers that the convenience store would be closed today.

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Illegals at the 7 Eleven!? Say it ain't so.
By loading... (601), quiogue on Jun 17, 13 3:32 PM
3 members liked this comment
Not you Apu!!!
By Hambone (514), New York on Jun 17, 13 4:59 PM
I've said it before, and I'll say it again. If you have children, learn how to properly check their credit report without throwing a wrench in the works. This story is one more example of how valuable your child's Social is to malefactors.
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Jun 17, 13 5:15 PM
wait you've said 'malefactors' before?
By Hambone (514), New York on Jun 17, 13 5:19 PM
1 member liked this comment
Yeah. Amongst other sesquipedalians. Would you prefer miscreants, or the accusatory term "criminals"?
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Jun 17, 13 5:34 PM
1 member liked this comment
Wow,Hope the local code inforcement personel will take a look at the code violations at other East End 7/11 stores,IE storage containers in parking lots,garbage dumpsters in paring lots,movie rental machines out side stores,year after year..wish I could disregard the law,,,,no consequences...
By Etians rd (543), Southampton on Jun 17, 13 5:26 PM
1 member liked this comment
'New York State Police hollered out to drivers" Really?
By Q333 (161), Southampton on Jun 17, 13 5:38 PM
The national news services have all picked this up. 27east was the first to report on this, good going!
By KevinLuss (356), Detroit, Michigan on Jun 17, 13 6:02 PM
1 member liked this comment
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By david h (405), southampton on Jun 18, 13 11:12 AM
hey I grew up in villanova! hi neighbor. why are you registered Detroit ?
By david h (405), southampton on Jun 18, 13 12:02 PM
I am not sure...I sign on w/ Facebook and it lists my birthplace. Go Cats!!
By KevinLuss (356), Detroit, Michigan on Jun 18, 13 12:55 PM
Farrukh Baig, Bushra Baig, Zahid Baig, Shannawaz Baig, Malik Yousaf, Tariq Rana, Ramon Nanas, Azhar Zia and Ummar Uppal? Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to live off the labors of others.
By Frank Wheeler (1826), Northampton on Jun 17, 13 7:05 PM
4 members liked this comment
We note the many Wheeler last names amongst the East End residents in 1457 A. D..
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Jun 19, 13 2:53 PM
Whatever your point, PBR, you do NOT note are many, if any, Wheeler names being swept up by ICE, INS, ATF, NYSP or other authorities!

So koo koo kachoo to you!
By Frank Wheeler (1826), Northampton on Jun 20, 13 8:52 AM
1 member liked this comment
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By Kaiser Sozay (31), east end on Jun 17, 13 7:28 PM
Finally!!! About time the government did something right.
By Hillsnbells (43), Southampton on Jun 17, 13 9:38 PM
Thank heaven for 7-11 and 72 virgins.
By WHBinManhattan (47), Manhattan/Westhampton on Jun 17, 13 11:28 PM
1 member liked this comment
Don't worry illegals are good for this country.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Jun 18, 13 7:59 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By SidViscuous (26), on Jun 19, 13 3:02 PM
1 member liked this comment
Thanks for your 2 posts. Bad news, you'll be back to 1 by tomorrow.
By Q333 (161), Southampton on Jun 19, 13 8:17 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By david h (405), southampton on Jun 18, 13 11:21 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By david h (405), southampton on Jun 18, 13 11:25 AM
27east is my favorite source for east end news & updates. thanks guys!!
By david h (405), southampton on Jun 18, 13 11:28 AM
WOWIE WOW WOW Now maybe the day laborers in the parking lot can get inside work
By patrickstar (67), hampton bays on Jun 18, 13 12:39 PM
1 member liked this comment
14 stores, over a 13 year period, netting “only” 50 illegal immigrants in one of the largest criminal immigrant employment investigations ever conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security? Maybe our tax dollars would have netted a greater return by investigating some of the construction related businesses in our area and restoring jobs to the skilled unemployed American tradespersons/craftspersons who have been displaced by illegal immigrants. I hope ...more
By john_doe_64 (2), Southampton on Jun 22, 13 7:12 PM
Guys like you don't mind saving money using cheap illegal labor. They cut your grass, build your house, and pick up your trash. Oh but its the horrible employers fault for the illegals right? Maybe it might be the lazy Americans 60 million strong on public assistance. If there Is a skilled American on the east end with no job he isn't looking very hard for a job. There is a shortage of construction workers, but you wouldn't know that because your butt is probably glued to the couch
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Jun 27, 13 10:36 PM