Yarrabee Farms Did Not Use E-Verify to Vet Man Charged with Killing Mollie Tibbetts

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- "What we learned in the last 24 hours is that our employee was not who he said he was," said Dane Lang, Co-owner and manager of Yarrabee Farms. "And, just within the last four hours, we have come to learn that the Social Security Administration's employment verification service is not the same as E-Verify."

That was what Dane Lang said Wednesday Afternoon, when talking about the hiring practices of Yarrabee Farms. The initial statement on Tuesday from Yarrabee Farms said the man charged with killing 20 year-old Mollie Tibbetts, 24 year-old Cristhian Bahena Rivera, had worked at its farms for four years and was vetted through the government's E-Verify system.

Yarrabee Farms is owned by a prominent Iowa GOP family. Craig Lang is one of the owners of Yarrabee Farms. Craig Lang is the former president of the Iowa Farm Bureau and the Iowa Board of Regents and a 2018 Republican candidate for state secretary of agriculture. Craig Lang has in the past talked about the importance of E-Verify and that it should be utilized, as seen in this video. On Wednesday, Craig's son, Dane, apologized for the inaccuracy in the initial statement given by Yarrabee Farms, which said that it used E-Verify for vetting.

"Our family member, who handles the verification process, believed the systems were the same," said Dane. "They are not the same systems, and we apologize for any confusion that this caused with our earlier statement."

Dane said Yarrabee Farms screens every applicant through the Social Security Administration's social security number verification service, but plans on using E-Verify in the future.

"We`ve been talking with our immigration lawyer," said Dane. "We`re signing up for E-Verification and we intend to fully vet everyone through the E-Verify system."



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