Business

A company that was fined $95 million after knowingly employing undocumented immigrants donated nearly $12,000 to Dr. Oz’ Senate campaign, FEC records show

Pennsylvania Republican US Senate candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz speaks at a rally in support of his campaign sponsored by former President Donald Trump at the Westmoreland County Fairgrounds on May 6, 2022 in Greensburg, Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania Republican US Senate candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz speaks at a rally in support of his campaign sponsored by former President Donald Trump at the Westmoreland County Fairgrounds on May 6, 2022 in Greensburg, Pennsylvania.

  • A company fined after hiring undocumented immigrants also donated to Dr. Oz’s US senate campaign, FEC records show.
  • Oz is listed as a shareholder in the company and donated to its PAC, according to a federal filing.
  • He’s running for US Senate in Pennsylvania on a conservative platform focused on gun rights, abortions, and immigration.

A tree-trimming company that paid the largest fine ever levied by ICE after knowingly employing undocumented immigrants donated to the Pennsylvania GOP Senate candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz’s campaign, FEC records show.

In September 2017, Asplundh Tree Experts pleaded guilty to higher level management being “willfully blind” to lower level employees knowingly hiring and rehiring undocumented immigrants following a six-year investigation by ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations division.

The family-owned company was sentenced to pay an $80 million fine and an additional $15 million in civil claims — the largest civil settlement agreement ever levied by ICE.

On Wednesday, the celebrity surgeon accepted a pair of $5,800 donations from Scott Asplundh, who serves as CEO and chairman of the tree-trimming company, as well as Hallie Asplundh.

According to a federal filing from the FEC, Oz is listed as a shareholder in Asplundh and, in 2020, donated nearly $23,000 to the Asplundh Tree Expert Political Action Committee, which aggregates contributions from the company’s employees and their families to donate to candidates running for federal office.

Representatives for Oz’s show did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

The Pennsylvania senatorial candidate is running on a conservative platform focused on gun rights, abortions, and immigration. He has faced mounting pressure from GOP rivals over his Turkish dual citizenship, which Oz said he would renounce if elected to the Senate.

“My dual citizenship has become a distraction in this campaign,” Oz said in a statement. “I maintained it to care for my ailing mother, but after several weeks of discussions with my family, I’m committing that before I am sworn in as the next U.S. Senator for Pennsylvania I will only be a U.S. citizen.”

The TV doctor’s controversial senatorial bid still has yet to gain traction among conservative voters — namely Trump supporters, who booed Oz at a rally in Pennsylvania last week. Former President Donald Trump endorsed Oz in early April as the television personality faces a high-profile primary later this month.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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