A former Domino’s Pizza franchise owner in Canterbury has been sentenced after exploiting migrant workers.

The owner faces 10 months home detention and has been ordered to pay reparations.

Chang-Wei Tsao, otherwise known as David Tsao, pleaded guilty to six charges relating to migrant exploitation and was sentenced at the Christchurch District Court today.

Tsao was ordered to pay reparations of $7061 for underpaid wages, holiday pay and the payment of premiums to one victim.

Immigration officials said they received a complaint from an employee at the Kaiapoi store, who had been working in breach of their visa conditions. Investigators found Tsao “coerced” the foreign national to work beyond their visa expiry date.

According to MBIE, he was also found to have “compelled three student visa holders to work beyond the 20 hours per week they were entitled to while studying”.

In addition, the pizza store franchise owner was found to “have committed serious exploitation of another employee relating to underpayment of wages and leave, and requiring the employee to pay unlawful premiums, with a combined value of $7061.”

MBIE immigration investigations general manager Steve Watson said the sentence would send a “strong message” to people who exploited migrants.

“I’m incredibly proud of the hard work by our investigators in this case and the empathetic approach they took when dealing with these vulnerable migrants who had been deliberately taken advantage of by their employer,” he said.

Tsao pleaded guilty to the charges on February 9.

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