A Jacksonville restaurant owner has been fined $10,000 for engaging in a pattern of hiring illegal immigrants.
Juan Carlos Angel, 35, is the owner of Peppers 5 Mexican Restaurant on Atlantic Boulevard and other locations in Jacksonville.
Angel pleaded guilty to the offenses on Oct. 30.
According to court documents, in June, four employees of the restaurant had been arrested for document fraud following a Homeland Security Investigations audit of the restaurant's Form I-9s, or employment eligibility verification forms.
After records checks were completed, it was determined that between, in or around March 2011 through in and around March 2012, Angel hired employees who were citizens of other countries and were in the United States illegally.
Thereafter, Angel was interviewed and admitted to knowingly hiring five illegal immigrants not authorized to work in the U.S. during those periods.