Jeff Smith 11:59 p.m., Feb. 8
French Gourmet, Officers Plead Guilty
La Jolla's French Gourmet Restaurant, along with its owner Michel Malecot and manager Richard Kauffmann, pleaded guilty today (Oct. 13) to hiring at least ten illegal aliens in the 2006-2007 period. The company hired undocumented workers beginning in 2003 even after being fined in the 1990s for the practice, and being challenged by the Social Security Administration because employees' names did not match the Social Security numbers on tax returns. Kauffmann admitted knowing that the undocumented workers were not citizens of the U.S. Malecot admitted that he knew that at least seven employees were not authorized to work in the U.S. Kauffmann faces five years in custody and Malecot at least six months. The restaurant and Malecot will forfeit between $350,000 and $650,000. The exact amount will be determined later.