A Cambodian-born man will serve at least five months in jail for dealing with the proceeds of crime at a vegetable farm in eastern Victoria.
The Melbourne man pleaded guilty over his involvement in an illegal worker scheme
He oversaw the packing shed at a Koo Wee Rup vegetable farm
More than $400,000 cash was found at his Keysborough home in a 2016 raid
Sarith Kit was sentenced in the County Court on Monday afternoon over various charges dating back to his work on a farm at Koo Wee Rup, south of Pakenham.
He will have to serve at least five months of a 14-month prison term, pending good behaviour.
The 48-year-old was also fined a total of $40,000 for his involvement in breaches of the Migration Act.
He pleaded guilty to charges including allowing an unlawful non-citizen to work, allowing a lawful non-citizen to work in breach of a work-related condition and dealing with proceeds of crime worth $100,000 or more.
The prison sentence imposed relates to Kit’s dealings with the proceeds of crime and is below the maximum available sentence of 10 years.
Judge Greg Lyon said Kit created false invoices for the business, paid employees cash in marked envelopes and took a commission.
On December 2, 2016, Border Force officers and federal police entered packing sheds and identified 89 illegal workers working inside.
Police then raided Kit’s property and found more than $403,000 in cash.
Previously of good character
Judge Lyon said Kit was born in Cambodia in 1972 and moved to Australia in 1992 looking for seasonal work on farms and shift work in factories.
Kit worked for the same family, the Vizzarris, for 21 years, however “ceased any relationship with the Vizzarri family and company since being arrested”.
In sentencing, Judge Lyon noted Kit had lost long-term employment and had good prospects for rehabilitation.
He said Kit was a known contributor and supporter of the Cambodian community.
“I am satisfied you are a person previously of good character … you have strong family and friendship support and have continued to work hard since your arrest.”