Kearney Resident and Corporation Sentenced For The Unlawful Hiring Of An Alien
United States Attorney Deborah R. Gilg announced that Paul J. Younes, age 63 of Kearney, Nebraska, and Kearney Hospitality, Inc. d/b/a Fairfield Inn & Suites were sentenced for their convictions concerning the unlawful hiring of an alien. Senior United States District Court Judge Lyle E. Strom sentenced Younes to five years of probation and ordered him to pay a fine of $3,000. Kearney Hospitality, Inc. was sentenced to five years of probation and was ordered to pay a fine of $150,000. Stephanie Hagemeier of Hastings was previously sentenced on April 20, 2016 to one year of probation and was ordered to pay a fine of $500 for her role in the offense.
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 is 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. 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.
This case was investigated by the Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General, and the Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement.