The owner of a popular popular Chinese restaurant and cafe in Cincinnati was ordered deported Thursday after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor.
A Cincinnati Municipal Court judge sentenced Joseph “Panda” Wang to four months in jail and ordered him to pay $7,000 in fines and court costs.
In his guilty plea, Wang said he was unaware of the cafe’s illegal activities and that he was not the owner.
His attorney, Joseph W. Meehan, told the court the restaurant was illegally located in the middle of a busy commercial area and that Wang was unaware that his business was operating in violation of state law.
“I have been very remorseful and very sorry for what I have done,” Wang said in a statement released by his attorney.
“I am sorry for the pain and suffering my actions have caused the employees, guests and the public.
I will be a better person, a better husband, a more kind, kind, loving and compassionate person.”
Wang, a native of Shanghai who immigrated to the U.S. in 1997, was convicted in April of illegally operating a Chinese restaurant.
In December, a judge sentenced Wang to two months in a local jail, which he appealed to the Superior Court.
Wang is the first Chinese-American to be deported from the U, and the first to be ordered deported under a federal law.
The law, signed in 2011, provides a “special treatment” to foreigners who commit crimes or violate immigration laws.
The law is intended to help protect foreign nationals who may be subject to arrest or detention.