The U.S. Attorney's Office says Marguin Sanchez, 23 of California, has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to employ what it described as "unlawful aliens" at four local Mexican restaurants.
Sanchez faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison and $250,000 fine when sentenced in June.
Charges are also pending against Sergio Ramses Mucino, whom authorities say helped Sanchez employ the workers at Don Tequila on Allen Street in Buffalo, El Agave on Union Road in Cheektowaga, Agave on Elmwood Avenue in Buffalo and La Divina on Delaware Avenue in Kenmore.
Prosecutors argued that Sanchez paid wages to the workers in cash and purchased homes in his name for them to live. Jose Sanchez-Ocampo already has been convicted in the same case and is scheduled for sentencing March 5.