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Press Release

Hastings Resident Sentenced For Aiding The Unlawful Hiring Of An Alien

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Nebraska

United States Attorney Deborah R. Gilg announced that Stephanie Hagemeier, age 43 of Hastings, Nebraska, was sentenced upon her conviction for aiding and abetting the unlawful hiring of an alien.  Senior United States District Court Judge Lyle E. Strom sentenced Hagemeier to one year of probation and ordered her to pay a fine of $500.  Paul Younes and Kearney Hospitality, Inc. previously entered pleas of guilty for their roles in this matter and sentencing has been set for May 9, 2016, for those cases.

The investigation revealed that Blanca Gama, a citizen of Mexico who was not lawfully in the United States, was employed as the supervisor of housekeeping at the Holiday Inn Express in Hastings where Hagemeier was employed as the manager.  In 2014, Hagemeier learned Gama was under investigation by the Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General.  Gama quit her job at the Holiday Inn Express but later met with Younes who arranged for her to be employed in the housekeeping department at the Fairfield Inn & Suites in Kearney under the name Elizabeth Gomez.  Hagemeier was aware that Gama had been hired under those circumstances.

At Gama’s request, Younes later authorized Gama’s re-hire at the Holiday Inn Express in Hastings under the name Jacqueline Lopez even though she continued to be referred to as Blanca Gama at that location.  Hagemeier signed the I-9 form even though she knew that Gama was not Jacqueline Lopez and that she was not authorized to work in the United States.

This case was investigated by the Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General, and the Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement.


Updated April 22, 2016

Labor & Employment