Bakery Faces $650K Fine For Illegal Employees

SAN DIEGO (AP) — A San Diego restaurant-bakery could forfeit up to $650,000 in earnings for employing illegal immigrants. The San Diego Union-Tribune says owner Michel Melcot pleaded guilty Thursday to a misdemeanor charge of continuing to employ workers illegally at The French Gourmet in Pacific Beach.

SAN DIEGO (AP) — A San Diego restaurant-bakery could forfeit up to $650,000 in earnings for employing illegal immigrants.

The San Diego Union-Tribune says owner Michel Melcot pleaded guilty Thursday to a misdemeanor charge of continuing to employ workers illegally at The French Gourmet in Pacific Beach. He could face six months in prison.

Manager Richard Kauffman pleaded guilty to hiring at least 10 illegal workers in 2006 and 2007. He faces up to five years in prison.

Federal agents found that 91 people hired between 2005 and 2008 were illegally employed.

The bakery also was fined by the feds in 1991 for illegal employment.

Attorneys for the owner and manager say the bakery has tried to comply with the law and now uses the government's e-Verify system to safeguard against illegal hires.

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