COLUMBUS — A 39-year-old Schuyler man pleaded guilty Friday to using false identification to get a job at Columbus-based Pillen Family Farms nearly three years ago.

Platte County District Court Judge Robert Steinke fined Cesar Madora-Marino $2,000 for his conviction of attempted criminal impersonation.

Madora-Marino, who was previously scheduled for a jury trial next month, waived a presentence investigation and proceeded straight to sentencing for the Class IV felony, which carried a maximum penalty of two years imprisonment, 12 months of post-release supervision and a $10,000 fine.

The defendant was initially charged with two counts of identity theft, a Class III felony punishable by up to four years in prison, two years of probation and a $25,000 fine.

In exchange for Madora-Marino’s plea to the reduced charge, the prosecution agreed to a fine only and dismissed the second identity theft count.

According to court documents, a Columbus Police investigation of the case began in April when a Greeley, Colorado, man reported to police there that someone was using his identity to work at Pillen Family Farms in Columbus.

Columbus Police Investigator Heath Haynes wrote in his probable cause arrest statement that Madora-Marino used a fraudulent Nebraska identification card and Social Security number to gain employment in February 2015.

Pillen Family Farms officials reported the defendant’s earnings were $26,599 in 2015 and $29,886 in 2016, figures that were verified by W-2 forms provided by the company. Pillen officials also told authorities the employee resided in Schuyler.

When Haynes contacted the employee in Schuyler, Madora-Marino admitted using both forms of false identification so he could provide for his family, court documents state.

Jim Osborn is a news reporter at The Columbus Telegram

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Jim Osborn is a news reporter at The Columbus Telegram.

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