Amjad Iqbal, a former director of the Chesterfield Poultry processing plant, at Clay Cross, was found guilty at Derby Crown Court of conspiring to break immigration rules.
The court heard how the 41-year-old was involved in creating false ID documents and had also visited Eastern Europe to recruit illegal workers.
Chesterfield Poultry was raided by UK Border Agency officers in July 2008. They found dozens of workers with forged documents. Iqbal, of Parkfield, Chorley Wood, was then arrested together with Patrick McCrudden of Marland Way, Manchester and Catherine Anderson, of Lime Close, Salford.
McCrudden, 44, and Anderson, 54, each admitted conspiracy to break immigration rules and were jailed for four years and three-and-a-half years respectively.
The court was told that during the operation – which also involved Derbyshire Police and the UK Human Trafficking Centre – computers containing 5,000 copies of counterfeit Romanian ID cards were seized.
These were provided as part of a package to workers outside the EU to “legitimise” their employment – but at a cost to the employee, who was then expected to work-off “the debt” at Chesterfield Poultry.
Inspector Sam Bullimore, of the UK Border Agency, said the three had “cruelly exploited” migrants: “Make no mistake, the business they dealt in was a modern form of slavery,” he said.