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President, manager of French restaurant in San Diego accused of hiring illegal immigrants

The president and a manager of the French Gourmet, a San Diego restaurant-catering business-bakery known for elegant entrees, sumptuous pastries, and a highly refined wine list, have been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of hiring illegal immigrants and supplying the government with phony documents.

Michel Malecot, 58, and Richard Kauffmann, 57, are charged with conspiracy, eight counts of phony documents, and three counts of harboring undocumented workers at their business location in Pacific Beach. The indictment was unsealed Wednesday.

Opened in 1979, the French Gourmet specializes in catering birthday parties and weddings, with its heart-shaped Praline-chocolate mousse cake as a favorite. Despite the criminal case, the business remains open, and is preparing for a special Mother's Day brunch where smoked-salmon omelets and strawberry crepes will be served.

“The government will hold accountable those employers who violate the law and profit from the labor of unauthorized workers," U.S. Atty. Karen Hewitt said.

If one of the two defendants is convicted, the restaurant property could be seized by the federal government, according to court documents.

Tony Perry in San Diego

Comments () | Archives (5)

This is what should happen all over California. The employers should be held responsible for the crime that is committed. Hiring an illegal is a crime and should be punished….its about time. Now lets just pray that this happens all over California, then the illegals will have no choice….go back to wherever they came form ….

Way to go!
Hopefully this will be the start of putting hundreds of thousands of other greedy, lawbreaking illegal-alien-employing business owners behind bars where they've long belonged!
PS Hope these guys like the foie gras in prison!

A drop in the bucket.

I know some of you will be cheering this one (and rightfully so) but I have a little bit of bad news for you: Having worked as a chef in southern California for the last 10 years I can say with pretty much 99% confidence that every restaurant, catering service, and kitchen have in illegal immigrants in their employ.

No joke, sadly enough.

Who gives a crap about what they serve on their menu. Theese guy's are criminals just like the illegals they hired to work for them!Ednight is right, it is just a drop in the bucket, but it's a start. Cali could recover so much lost revenue if they would only enforce laws already on the books and fine employers that hire illegals HEAVILY! Send the message law enforcement! GO ARIZONA!!!


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