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French bakery admits hiring illegal immigrants

December 22, 2011 |  4:41 pm

The owner and the manager of a French restaurant in San Diego were sentenced in federal court Thursday  to serve probation and pay fines after pleading guilty to knowingly hiring undocumented immigrants.

Michel Malecot, 59, the owner of French Gourmet, was sentenced to five years probation and to be responsible for paying the restaurant’s penalty of $396,575.

Richard Kauffmann, 59, the manager, was sentenced to three years probation and ordered to pay $2,500 for his role in hiring the undocumented immigrants to work in the restaurant’s bakery and catering businesses.

U.S. Atty. Laura Duffy said the convictions and sentences should act as a warning to other businesses to not hire illegal immigrants.

“When employers do not comply, we will take vigorous enforcement action to ensure they do not profit from this illegal tactic,” Duffy said.

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-- Tony Perry

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