On Thursday, federal agencies shutdown Viva Supermarkets, a grocery store chain owned by Sacramento City Councilman Sean Loloee.
Homeland Security Investigations and the IRS Criminal Investigation unit conducted raids at four Viva supermarkets throughout Sacramento County. Agents were seen confiscating electronic devices and boxes from the locations, as reported by The Sacramento Bee.
John A. Pearl, an IRS spokesperson, verified that Homeland Security Investigations and the IRS criminal investigations carried out an “authorized criminal enforcement activity” at Viva Supermarket sites.
Pearl remained discreet about the details, emphasizing the need to “protect all parties involved, including the agents and subjects of the investigation.”
Signs saying “Sorry Temporarily Closed” were seen outside the Viva Supermarkets locations at 3845 Marysville Blvd in Sacramento and 10385 Folsom Blvd in Rancho Cordova.
Homeland Security agents were seen within the shuttered stores. Red tape labeled “U.S. Customs and Border Protection” and “Evidence — Do not open” could be seen at the Rancho Cordova site.
According to The Sacramento Bee, federal prosecutors have scrutinized Loloee’s activities three times since 2009.
The investigators have accused him of breaking federal laws related to minimum wage, overtime pay, record-keeping, and child labor. A follow-up investigation in 2020 reportedly uncovered additional violations of these laws. The third investigation took it a step further, claiming that Loloee pressured his employees into compliance.
Loloee was unavailable for comment after the raid. His office clarified that the issue is related to his private businesses and has no connection to his City Hall duties.
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