San Diego bakery owner charged with illegal hiring

AP News
Posted: Oct 14, 2010 9:07 PM
San Diego bakery owner charged with illegal hiring

The owner of a wholesale bakery that delivers to a federal courthouse, military bases, prisons and schools was charged with hiring illegal immigrants in a complaint that alleges more than half his workers were not authorized to be in the United States.

Jesse Fadick, 65, and three employees who were in the United States illegally were charged with conspiracy to harbor illegal aliens at S&S Bakery Inc. of San Diego, which listed 119 employees in a government filing this year.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement on Wednesday arrested 44 illegal immigrants who worked at the company, according to the complaint. ICE said all were from Mexico, including 19 who are being held as witnesses.

Others will appear before an immigration judge, except for two women who were released due to their family circumstances, said ICE spokeswoman Lauren Mack.

S&S, which makes cakes, muffins and breads at a 35,000-square-foot building near the Mexican border, came under scrutiny when a former employee reported his suspicions to ICE in October 2009.

An employee who is in the country illegally became a government informant and identified dozens of workers who were unauthorized to work, according to the complaint. The employee recorded conversations in Fadick allegedly discusses changing delivery routes to shield workers from immigration authorities.

The Social Security Administration found 50 employees had Social Security numbers that were invalid or did not match their names.

A message left with Fadick seeking comment was not returned. The complaint says he told authorities that he didn't know he employed illegal immigrants.

S&S's delivery routes include the Edward J. Schwartz federal building in downtown San Diego, home to the courthouse where his case was filed.