Bakery manager, owner plead guilty to employing illegal workers
Posted October 18, 2011
On October 13, the owner and the manager of a California bakery pleaded guilty to the felony offense of hiring at least 10 illegal aliens from 2006 to 2007. Their court appearance follows a four-year probe by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations.
The two men also admitted to employing illegal alien workers as early as 2003, despite being fined in the 1990s by the former Immigration and Naturalization Service for employing illegal aliens.
In pleading guilty, the manager admitted that the company repeatedly rehired illegal alien workers, even after the company received "no-match" letters from the Social Security Administration advising that the employees' names did not match the Social Security numbers reported by the company on its tax returns.
The owner pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge related to continuing to employ illegal aliens. He admitted that 91 illegal aliens were employed unlawfully at the bakery between 2005 and 2008, and that he knew at least seven of those individuals were not authorized to work in the United States.
The manager faces a maximum of five years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and three years of supervised release. The owner faces a maximum of six months in custody and a fine of $3,000 per illegal alien worker.
In conjunction with the guilty pleas, the owner also agreed to company forfeiture of the illicit proceeds gained from the bakery's illegal hiring practices. Although the total financial penalty is expected to be between $350,000 and $650,000, the exact amount of the forfeiture and fine will be determined by a U.S. district court judge at a sentencing hearing December 19.
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