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Old 08-02-2008, 07:35 PM
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Beaufort County Sheriff P.J. Tanner said his investigators will pursue reports of widespread use of fraudulent documents by workers in the county, a discovery that county-hired business auditors told the County Council about last week.

Andy Patrick, head of Hilton Head Island-based auditing firm Advance Point Global, reported findings to the Beaufort County Council on Monday from his company's first 358 business audits. In his presentation, he noted that there is "sufficient evidence" of "significant use of counterfeit documents" in the county and an apparent industry of illegal document-making.

There's sort of a legal firewall between the auditors and the employees with the suspicious documents. The auditors are authorized to audit the businesses but not individuals. Patrick, whose firm began auditing in April, said all of the businesses were in compliance or brought into compliance as far as I-9 documentation, a federally required form that states immigration status on every employee.

Similarly, employers have no legal obligation to verify the legitimacy of information that employees use to fill out I-9s, such as names and social security numbers.

The Beaufort Gazette: Sheriff: Employees' potentially fake documents will be investigated (broken link)
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