Local restaurant owner admits hiring illegals
Posted: Monday, March 15, 2010 3:13 pm
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A Billings restaurant owner accused of trafficking in immigration documents to help illegal aliens get jobs in Montana admitted today that he knowingly hired illegal aliens.

Juan Nuno-Ramirez Sr., 54, who owns and operates the Guadalajara Restaurants, pleaded guilty in federal court to two counts of unlawful employment of aliens, a misdemeanor.

Nuno-Ramirez was charged last August in a 15-count indictment with conspiracy to obtain visas, permits and other documents, fraud and misuse of immigration documents, harboring aliens, illegally employing aliens, false statements and aggravated identity theft.

For about two years beginning in 2004, Nuno-Ramirez conspired to get valid immigration documents through fraud for relatives, employees and others to allow them to stay and work in the United States, the indictment said.

As part of a plea agreement, Nuno-Ramirez pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor counts. The government will seek to dismiss the remaining 13 counts at sentencing.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jim Seykora said Nuno-Ramirez, a naturalized U.S. citizen, owns and operates three Guadalajara Restaurants through his companies, Hermanos Corp. and Nuno’s Corp.

Nuno-Ramirez and others met on several occasions in Bozeman and in Billings with an undercover federal agent to fraudu-lently get valid immigration documents, Seykora said. He would pay the agent about $2,500 as a down payment and provide another $2,500 when the document was delivered. Nuno-Ramirez also paid money to get renewal documents.

Nuno-Ramirez hired his sister and a man through his corporations knowing they were illegal aliens, Seykora said.

In addition to his guilty pleas, Nuno-Ramirez agreed to forfeit $16,900 he paid for the documents. He faces a maximum sentence of six months in prison and a maximum $3,000 fine for each alien.

Chief U.S. District Judge Richard Cebull set sentencing for June 24 and continued Nuno-Ramirez’s release.

http://billingsgazette.com/news/local/a ... 002e0.html