Ralphs Grocery Co. was formally sentenced Tuesday after paying $70 million in criminal fines and compensation to settle charges it illegally hired hundreds of workers under fake names during a 2003-2004 grocery strike and lockout, the Los Angeles Daiuly News reports, citing the Associated Press.


U.S. District Court Judge Percy Anderson placed the grocery chain on probation for three years after finding that the company paid the penalties ordered by the court as part of a plea agreement.


As part of an agreement with federal prosecutors, the chain pleaded guilty to five of 53 counts in an indictment returned last year.


The counts covered allegations of conspiracy, identity fraud, false representation of Social Security numbers, concealing facts relating to employee benefit plans and causing employees to falsely represent information to government agencies.


Approximately 19,000 locked-out Ralphs workers will receive back pay from $50 million of the settlement, which was placed in a restitution fund. The fund should provide approximately seven weeks of pay to each worker, according to the grocery unions.

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