At approximately 12:30pm on Friday, February 8th, 2013,
our manufacturing facility in Tempe, Arizona was served a search warrant by the Maricopa County Sherriff’s Office (MCSO), where a 7-Month long investigation by the MCSO revealed that as many as 19 of our employees had used false identifications to apply for and obtain employment with our company. Local News reports of the search picked-up by the API initially mislabeled the MCSO’s search “at a company accused of hiring workers illegally”, which was later, corrected and described as “Identity Theft”.
Here at Sportex Apparel, we follow all of the laws in regards to our hiring, and every employee (hired after January 1st, 2008) has been E-Verified to maintain their employment with the company. Each employee suspected in the investigation, was an employee of the company, was on the company’s payroll, were included on all required tax statements and filing with the State and Federal agencies, and were E-Verified and or hired under the laws and guidelines in place at the time of their hiring. Arizona is one of only four states that have a mandatory E-Verification requirement for all employers.
Prior to exiting some four hours after the search began, and after interviewing each employee present at the time, the MCSO stated to the ownership and management of Sportex Apparel that they were fully cooperative with the MCSO during their search of the facility, and stated that at this time the investigation is of an “individual basis”, and the company records reviewed during the search were found to be in compliance with appropriate hiring guidelines, and that the company is not under any current investigation based on their hiring practices, stressing that this was an investigation involving cases of individual identity theft.
The ownership and management of Sportex Apparel will continue to provide whatever assistance the MCSO asks of them, but at this time have been advised that pending further investigation, their involvement in the matters regarding the employees targeted in their investigation for identity theft has ended.
On a personal note, we all are deeply saddened and humbled by the events, and vow to become a better company for it. We are so appreciative of the relationships with our Clients and Business Partners and apologize whole heartedly to anyone this news may impact. Sportex Apparel is an American company and we plan on keeping the Sportex Brand Made in the USA and proud for it. Normal operations will continue as scheduled, and we will work hard every day to earn your respect, and encourage anyone with questions or concerns to contact us to discuss.
Larry, William, Becky, Debbie,
& All 125 + of us here at Sportex