IFCO, a Houston-based wooden pallet manufacturer, reached a $20.7 million settlement (consisting of fines and civil forfeitures) with the federal government in a criminal investigation on suspicions of hiring nearly 1200 undocumented workers. The parties reached the agreement before IFCO was to be indicted on criminal charges. IFCO is said to have "acknowledged and accepted 'responsibility for the unlawful conduct of its managers and employees'" as part of the agreement. This record-setting settlement is viewed by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as a powerful message that employers who hire unauthorized workers will be "investigate[d] and [brought] to justice."