By: Bruce Buchanan, Sebelist Buchanan Law

Con Pane Rustric Breads and Café of Point Loma, California has closed after an audit of the its employees’ I-9 forms by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), who found a number of unauthorized workers. In a Facebook post, the restaurant stated: “We have been subject to an I-9 audit by immigration authorities (DHS/ICE/INS) which has resulted in a notice of suspect documents. The discovery of a large number of unauthorized workers has so disrupted operations we have had no choice but to close.”

The retail and wholesale business, which opened in 1999, supplied bread to a number of San Diego restaurants. Restaurateur David Spatafore, who had regularly used Con Pane bread for his Parisian-style bistro, Little Frenchie, in Coronado, said he was shocked by news of the closing. “The raisin hazelnut bread, her cinnamon rolls, her sandwiches, everything she does, from retail to her wholesale operation, is great and she’s going to be missed as a customer and neighbor at Liberty Station.”

This closing demonstrates the incredible impact a business will feel if audited by ICE. Con Pane Rustric Breads and Café is not the first business to close after an ICE audit and it won’t be the last. That’s why it is so important to conduct internal I-9 audits with experienced immigration counsel.

If you want more information about immigration compliance issues, I recommend you read The I-9 and E-Verify Handbook, a book I co-authored with Greg Siskind, and available at