April 12, 1992 |
As a Fairfax High School student in the 1950s, Eddie Isaac impressed classmates as a hustler by hawking flowers from street corners after school. The son of a neighborhood shopkeeper, Isaac later worked the downtown Los Angeles flower markets, operated a florist shop in West Hollywood and eventually bought a small ranch near San Fernando. But riches eluded him until 1979 when Isaac--who by then had changed his name to Edwin M. Ives--borrowed heavily to buy two Ventura County flower ranches.
March 24, 1992 |
A Ventura County flower rancher charged with enslaving hundreds of Mexican laborers has agreed to plead guilty to corporate racketeering and to pay about $1.5 million in back wages to former workers, the stiffest fine ever levied in a U.S. immigration case, prosecutors said Monday. In exchange for Edwin M. Ives' plea, the U.S. attorney's office agreed to dismiss extortion and slavery counts that brought the case international attention as the largest such prosecution in U.S.
April 28, 1990 |
The owner of a Ventura County flower ranch, where Mexican laborers claim they were imprisoned behind barbed-wire fences and forced to work for sub-minimum wages, was criminally charged Friday with violating the workers' civil rights. Edwin M. Ives, 53, surrendered to federal authorities after early-morning raids Friday by about 50 agents at his two ranches in Ventura County and his Griffith-Ives Co. headquarters in West Los Angeles, investigators said.
April 15, 1990 |
State and federal agencies are investigating reports that Mexican laborers were imprisoned behind walls at a Ventura County flower ranch and forced to work for sub-minimum wages. Workers at the Griffith-Ives Co. ranch in Somis received about $1 an hour while routinely toiling 16 hours a day and were required to buy food and supplies from a company store at inflated prices, they said in interviews with The Times.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 19, 1991 |
A federal grand jury in Los Angeles on Thursday reinstated racketeering charges against a Ventura County flower grower who is accused of enslaving at least 60 Mexican laborers at his Somis ranch in the 1980s. The new indictment alleges that Edwin M. Ives, 54, his wife, Dolly, 48, and nine employees of the Griffith-Ives Co. unlawfully invested racketeering income and illegally transferred money across state lines.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 8, 1990 |
A civil lawsuit against the owner of a Somis flower ranch charged with enslaving workers has been delayed by a federal judge who ruled that the suit could interfere with the government's criminal prosecution of the rancher. In his ruling in Los Angeles, U.S. District Judge Terry J. Hatter Jr. agreed with prosecutors who argued that allowing the civil lawsuit to proceed would give defense attorneys access to witnesses that could hurt the criminal case against Edwin M. Ives, 53, of Los Angeles.