The homeowners of two Northern California mushroom farms where a farmworker killed seven folks in back-to-back shootings final 12 months will pay more than $450,000 in back wages and damages to 62 workers, the Labor Division introduced Monday.

The homeowners of California Terra Gardens and Harmony Farms in Half Moon Bay will additionally pay $70,000 in civil penalties for illegally deducting cash from the workers’ pay for housing them in cramped cargo containers, garages, dilapidated trailers and a moldy greenhouse infested with bugs and surrounded by trash, the division stated in a press release.

Chunli Zhao, who labored at California Terra Gardens and had labored at Harmony Farms, was c(*7*) with seven counts of homicide and one depend of tried homicide in the Jan. 23, 2023, shootings that surprised the small coastal neighborhood about 30 miles (48 kilometers) south of San Francisco. He has pleaded not guilty.

Authorities stated Zhao opened fireplace at California Terra Garden, killing 4 co-workers and wounding one other one. They stated he then drove about 2 miles (3.2 kilometers) to Harmony Farms, a mushroom farm he was fired from in 2015, and shot to death three workers.

California Terra Gardens, Inc.’s homeowners, Xianmin Guan and his spouse, Liming Zhu, illegally deducted cash from workers’ pay for substandard housing, federal officers stated. Federal investigators found 39 workers housed in cramped cargo containers, garages and dilapidated trailers furnished with filthy mattresses, the division stated.

At Harmony Farms, proprietor Grace Tung housed workers in moldy, makeshift rooms inside a greenhouse infested with bugs, federal officers stated.

Emails from The Related Press looking for remark from the farms’ homeowners weren’t instantly answered Monday.

“Our investigators found workers at California Terra Gardens and Concord Farms housed in sickening conditions, forced to sleep near garbage and with insects all around,” stated Wage and Hour Division Assistant District Director Alberto Raymond in San Francisco.

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