Homeland Security and IRS Raid and Shutdown Supermarket Owned by Sacramento City Council Member


Federal agencies on Thursday closed down Viva Supermarkets, a chain of grocery stores owned by Sacramento City Councilman Sean Loloee.

Loloee has been under scrutiny by federal prosecutors since 2009 for alleged violations of federal labor laws.

Homeland Security Investigations and the IRS Criminal Investigation unit raided four Viva supermarkets across Sacramento County. Agents were seen removing electronic devices and boxes from the premises, the Sacramento Bee reported.

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John A. Pearl, a spokesman for the IRS, confirmed that Homeland Security Investigations and the IRS criminal investigations conducted an “authorized criminal enforcement activity” at Viva Supermarket locations. Pearl was tight-lipped about the details, citing the need to “protect all parties involved, including the agents and subjects of the investigation.”

Signs saying “Sorry Temporarily Closed” were displayed outside the Viva Supermarkets locations at 3845 Marysville Blvd. in Sacramento and 10385 Folsom Blvd. in Rancho Cordova. Homeland Security agents were spotted inside the closed stores. Red tape reading “U.S. Customs and Border Protection” and “Evidence — Do not open” was visible at the Rancho Cordova location.

A video uploaded to Facebook by a resident showed Homeland Security and Department of Justice agents inside.

The Sacramento Bee reported that Loloee had been scrutinized three times by federal prosecutors since 2009. The investigators have alleged that he violated federal minimum wage, overtime compensation, record-keeping, and child labor laws. Even a follow-up investigation in 2020 found that he allegedly violated these laws again. The third investigation went further to allege that Loloee coerced his employees into compliance.

Loloee was noticeably unavailable for comment following the raid. His office clarified that the issue at hand is related to the councilman’s personal businesses and is not connected to his work at City Hall.

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