Portsmouth, Va. – Two more 7-Eleven stores in Hampton Roads are now under corporate control because of pending felony proceedings against two franchisees.
The stores are located at 1584 General Booth Blvd. in Virginia Beach and at 2610 Jefferson Ave. in Newport News.
Those are in addition to four other stores in Portsmouth, Chesapeake and Norfolk that were already placed under corporate control.
According to federal officials, the investigation involves more than a dozen stores in Virginia and New York.
Nine people have been indicted. They are accused of hiring illegal immigrants, giving them stolen identities from U.S. citizens and taking much of their wages.
Meanwhile, a Portsmouth woman says she and other workers at the London Blvd location, which is under investigation, were fired even though they had nothing to do with the scam.
“I have no idea what I’m going to be doing,” the former employee told NewsChannel 3, “When I watched the news, that's when I knew that a scam was going on, but I didn’t think that I would be a part of that because I had nothing to do with being here illegal. I’m a United States citizen. I’m not here illegal, so I’m not understanding why I have to lose my job.”
According to 7-Eleven, it's company policy.
A spokesperson told NewsChannel 3, "7-Eleven, Inc. does have a policy of terminating all employees at stores during our changeover process from franchise to corporate when illegal activity is involved."
All of the Virginia stores under investigation are now under corporate control.
The spokesperson did say that employees who were fired can reapply for their jobs at the store where they worked or any other location.
Either way, the former employee told NewsChannel 3 she shouldn’t have lost her job.
“That’s not fair because I did nothing wrong.”
7-Eleven spokeswoman Cara Morris Stern released this statement on the investigation:
"7-Eleven, Inc. is taking an aggressive approach to ending its relationships with franchisees who violate the law or its franchise agreement. 7-Eleven, Inc. assumed control of two additional stores in Virginia on Tuesday as a result of pending felony proceedings against the franchisees named in the indictment. These stores are now open under the management of 7-Eleven, Inc. 7-Eleven will continue to take action against franchisees who violate the law or its franchise agreement.”