A multi-agency task force in Massachusetts charged with recovering money lost in the underground economy has collected more than $15.6 million.
Massachusetts Labor Secretary Rachel Kaprielian said the money included unpaid wages, back taxes, unemployment insurance premiums, fines and penalties. It was collected through thousands of compliance checks and investigations in 2013.
One investigation the task force participated in focused on two farm labor camps in Western Massachusetts where workers and their families were exposed to unsafe living and toiled long hours with little pay.
In April 2013, the U.S. Department of Labor ordered the company to pay workers $305,500 in back wages and permanently banned it from exploiting future workers.
The task force was created by a 2008 law and has collected nearly $56 million from unlawful businesses by enforcing labor, licensing and tax laws.