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I-9 E-Verify Immigration Compliance

Restaurant Owner Going to Prison for Harboring Undocumented Workers

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By Bruce Buchanan, Sebelist Buchanan Law PLLC

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An owner of two restaurants in Ukiah, California, Yaowapha Ritdet, was sentenced to serve 24 months in prison for harboring for profit and corruptly endeavoring to obstruct the internal revenue laws. According to documents filed with the court, Ritdet hired Thai nationals who were illegally present in the United States to work at her restaurants, Ruen Tong Thai Cuisine and Walter Café. Ritdet underpaid these employees, paid them in cash, and instructed them not to speak to anyone about their immigration status. Ritdet also did not pay employment taxes on the cash wages. Ritdet filed false individual income tax returns for 2007 through 2011 that underreported the gross receipts, sales, and income she received from her two restaurants.

In addition to prison, Ritdet was ordered to serve three years of supervised release and to pay approximately $567,755.65 in restitution, including $70,768 to underpaid employees and $496,987 to the Internal Revenue Service.

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Comments

  1. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    This does not yet take us to the point where offering to give a ride a an unauthorized immigrant or tipping a waiter or car driver who turns out to be in this country without permission could send American citizens to jail.

    But if A.G. Jeff Sessions' pronouncements are to be believed, America could be moving in that direction.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
  2. MKolken's Avatar
    These charges were brought under the Obama administration Roger: https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/north...venue-laws-and
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