A restaurant allegedly used a fake priest to trick employees into confessing ‘sins’

A California restaurant chain has enlisted a fake priest to collect confessions from workers, with the supposed father urging them to ‘get the sins out’ by telling him if they were late for work or robbed their employer, according to the United States Department of Labor.

Restaurant owner Che Garibaldi operates two Taqueria Garibaldi restaurants in Sacramento and one in Roseville, according to a statement from the Department of Labor. Lawyers for the restoration company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The alleged priest also asked the workers if they harbored “bad intentions” towards their employer or if they had done anything to harm the company, the agency said, calling it the one of the “most shameless” scams the Labor Regulator has ever seen. The Sacramento Diocese also investigated the matter and said it “found no evidence of a connection” between the alleged priest and its jurisdiction, according to the Catholic News Agency.

“While we don’t know who the person in question was, we are absolutely confident that he was not a priest from the Diocese of Sacramento,” Bryan J. Visitacion, director of public affairs, told the news agency. Sacramento Diocese Media and Communications. .

“Contrary to normal confessions”

Hiring a so-called fake priest to solicit a confession wasn’t the restaurant chain’s only wrongdoing, according to government officials. Last month, a court ordered the owners of Che Garibaldi to pay $140,000 in back wages and damages to 35 employees.

The restaurant chain owner allegedly brought in the fake priest after the Department of Labor began investigating workplace issues. According to the Labor Department, its investigation found that the company had withheld overtime pay from workers, paid managers with money customers left as tips for employees, and threatened workers with retaliation and “negative immigration consequences” for working with the agency, according to the agency.

The Labor Department said an investigator learned from some workers that the restaurant owner brought in the priest, who said he was a friend of the owner and asked questions about whether they had harmed channel or its owner.

In court papers, a waitress at the restaurant, Maria Parra, said she found her conversation with the alleged priest “contrary to normal confessions” where she talked about what she wanted to confess, according to a court document reviewed by CBS Money Watch. Instead, the priest told him he would ask questions “to take away my sins.”

“He asked me if I had ever been pulled over for speeding, drunk alcohol or stolen anything,” she said. “The priest asked me if I had stolen anything at work, if I was late for work, if I had done anything to harm my employer and if I had bad intentions towards my work.”

The Labor Department also alleged that the employer attempted to retaliate against and silence workers, as well as obstruct an investigation and prevent employees from collecting unpaid wages.

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