Billionaire Asplundh family’s $95M worker exploitation history resurfaces amid in-law’s bully scandal

By Minh Hieu   May 11, 2024 | 03:17 pm PT
Billionaire Asplundh family’s $95M worker exploitation history resurfaces amid in-law’s bully scandal
Katherine Asplundh (right) with her husband Cabot Asplundh (left). Photo from Katherine Asplundh's Instagram
Pennsylvania billionaire Asplundh family’s US$95 million undocumented worker exploitation lawsuit gained public attention after Katherine Asplundh, newlywed wife to the family’s heir, was involved in a bully scandal this week.

In 2017, Asplundh Tree Experts, the Asplundhs’ multi-billion-dollar family business, pleaded guilty to employing workers it knew were using false identification papers, New York Post reported, citing a press release from US Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

From 2010 until December 2014, the firm employed employees in many regions in the U.S., accepting identification documents it knew to be false and fraudulent, according to court documents.

Its highest levels of management remained willfully blind while lower level managers hired and rehired employees they knew to be ineligible to work in the country, the documents said.

The family was fined $95 million, including $80 million dollars criminal forfeiture money judgment and $15 million dollars in civil payment, the largest payment ever levied in an immigration case.

The worker exploitation lawsuit resurfaced this week after the family’s new in-law, Katherine Asplundh, attempted to intimidate an Instagram user into selling their account to her, according to British newspaper The Mirror.

Katherine married Asplundh heir Cabot Asplundh a few weeks ago.

Afterward, Katherine, an influencer with over 14,600 followers on Instagram, sought to update her social media handle from @katherinedrisc, which reflected her former name, to @katherineasplundh.

However, the desired handle was already taken by another user.

Katherine then reached out to this individual, proposing to purchase their username. When the user hesitated to sell, Katherine allegedly attempted to intimidate them into compliance. The user then shared the incident to other social media platforms, capturing public attention.

The Asplundh Tree Expert holds a prominent position in the tree trimming and brush clearance sector for power and gas lines, according to Forbes. Its 2023 revenues reached $5.4 billion.

The firm was founded in 1928 by three brothers from Sweden -- Lester, Griffith, and Cabot’s great-grandfather Carl Asplundh.

Cabot's father Chris Asplundh currently serves as the company’s CEO.

go to top