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.
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.