Posted on December 23, 2011

Restaurant’s Owner and Manager Fined for Hiring Illegal Workers

Tony Perry, Los Angeles Times, December 23, 2011

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 of probation and ordered to pay $396,575 in fines, authorities said. Richard Kauffmann, 59, the manager, was sentenced to three years of 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.


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

Malecot’s case reflects a new approach by federal authorities as they crack down on the hiring of illegal immigrants. After years of conducting sweeps of undocumented laborers, the federal government is now focusing more on the employers who knowingly hire them.