A San Diego restaurant and catering company’s nine-year history of hiring undocumented workers came to an end in late 2011 when the owner pleaded guilty to federal charges.
According to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) investigators, The French Gourmet employed 91 illegal immigrants from 2005 to 2008, but the practice allegedly began as far back as 2003. Federal prosecutors focused on the hiring of 10 undocumented workers in 2007 and 2008.
Restaurant owner Michel Malecot pleaded guilty to knowingly employing illegal aliens and was sentenced to five years of supervised probation. He will also pay a $396,575 fine. The restaurant will forfeit $109,200 in illicit proceeds and pay a $277,375 fine.