Fri, Sep 19, 2014 02:47
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San Antonio Restaurant and Owner Enter Guilty Pleas In Connection With Worksite Enforcement Investigation

Texas Business reports:  Salsalito Cantina Inc. and owner, 50-year-old Hossein Bagheri face a maximum $1 million fine and up to five years in federal prison, respectively, after pleading guilty to harboring an undocumented alien in connection with a worksite enforcement investigation, announced United States Attorney John E. Murphy.

Appearing before United States Magistrate Judge Pamela Mathy, Bagheri admitted that he knowingly employed Pedro Villegas, an undocumented alien, as his kitchen manager.

Bagheri’s admission follows restaurant manager and co-defendant Angelo Sotelo’s guilty plealast week to aiding and abetting the making of a false statement. 

By pleading guilty, Sotelo admitted that he provided false information on a Form I-9 for an undocumented alien employed by Salsalito Cantina Inc. Sotelo faces up to five years in federal prison.

No sentencing dates have been scheduled.

Two remaining co-defendants–Salsalito personnel manager Sylvia Luna and former employeeHumberto Gonzalez–are charged by indictment with one count of conspiracy to bring in and harbor undocumented aliens. 

An indictment is merely a charge and should not be considered as evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

 

Also, Luna faces three counts; Gonzalez, two counts of harboring and shielding from detection undocumented aliens. 

The indictment specifically alleges that Luna and Gonzalez both signed Forms I-9 attesting that they had examined employment documents presented by job applicants when in fact no such documents had been produced.

Assistant United States Attorney Charles Jenkins is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.