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Jan. 5, 2012

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Grimaldi’s Employees Guilty of Immigration Document Fraud

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - Grimaldi’s former kitchen manager, Daniel Nieto-Ibarra, and a former Grimaldi’s cook, Erika Yazmin Perez-Lara, have both pleaded guilty to immigration document fraud, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. Grimaldi’s Pizzeria is located in the La Palmera Mall in Corpus Christi.

At a hearing before United States District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos today, Nieto-Ibarra and Perez-Lara, both 26 and from Corpus Christi, admitted they prepared and delivered fraudulent documents to a government confidential informant who they believed to be a Mexican national seeking illegal employment with the pizzeria.

Indictments were returned in November 2011 following an investigation by Immigration and Customs Enforcement - Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI). The assistant kitchen manager, Enrique Lopez-Miranda, 26, and another cook, Marco Antonio Sandoval-Romo, 42, both of Corpus Christi, were charged separately with the fraudulent use of a Social Security number. Their cases are still pending and they are presumed innocent unless and until convicted through due process of law.

Nieto-Ibarra and Perez-Lara Both were remanded into federal custody following their respective guilty pleas today where they will remain pending their sentencing hearings on April 3, 2012.
At that time, they each face up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Following any sentence of incarceration each would additionally be assessed a period of up to three years of supervised release. 

The case was investigated by ICE-HSI. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Robert D. Thorpe Jr. and Hugo R. Martinez.