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Long IslandCrime

7-Eleven manager who exploited staff gets 4 years, Feds say

The supervising manager of a number of 7-Eleven stores on Long Island was sentenced Wednesday to 4 years in prison for his role in a $182 million scheme to cheat undocumented employees out of wages to which they were entitled, federal officials said.

Malik Yousaf, 55, of South Setauket, was one of nine key owners or managers of 14 convenience stores on Long Island and in Virginia arrested in 2013 in the scheme, officials said.

Yousaf pleaded guilty in September 2014 to committing wire fraud and concealing and harboring the illegal aliens, according to Robert L. Capers, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District.

Citing court filings and evidence, prosecutors said Yousaf “acted as the chief manager of five 7-Eleven franchise stores during the course of the conspiracy, hired dozens of illegal aliens, equipped them with more than 20 identities stolen from United States citizens, housed them at residences his co-conspirators owned, and stole substantial portions of his workers’ wages.”

Yousaf generated $182 million in proceeds from the stores during the course of the scheme, prosecutors said in a news release.

In addition to the 4-year sentence handed down by U.S. District Court Judge Sandra Feuerstein in Central Islip federal court, Yousaf was ordered to forfeit his rights to eight 7-Eleven stores in New York and 10 stores in Virginia. He also had to forfeit a Long Island residence worth more than $150,000 and “pay $2.5 million in restitution for the back wages that he stole from his workers,” prosecutors said.

Yousaf’s attorney, Anthony La Pinta, of Hauppauge, said afterward: “We are thankful for Judge Feuerstein’s reasonable sentence and look forward to Mr. Yousaf being reunited with his family. Having already served 40 months in custody, today’s sentence will result in Mr. Yufsaf’s release in a few short months.”

While Yousaf was the day-to-day manager of many of the stores, the person who had the franchise to operate the stores, Farrukh Baig, of Head of the Harbor, was sentenced to 87 months in prison in April.

Baig controlled the franchises of 14 7-Eleven stores on Long Island and in Virginia, officials said He was also ordered to make restitution of $2.6 million for the lost wages of workers. Farrukh Baig’s wife, Bushra, was sentenced to three months for her role in the scheme.

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