2 ex-IHOP managers get prison sentences


Two former International House of Pancakes employees were sentenced Monday to federal prison for their roles in a scheme involving illegal hiring practices at area restaurants.

Cesar Avila, 38, of Toledo and Yoni Merida, 31, of Evansville, Ind., were sentenced in U.S. District Court by Judge David Katz — Avila to 10 months, and Merida to six months.

Avila, a former manager of the IHOP on Central Avenue in Sylvania Township, had pleaded guilty to alien harboring and identity theft. Merida, who managed an Evansville, Ind., IHOP, had pleaded guilty to two counts of identity theft. Both worked for IHOP franchisee Tarek Elkafrawi of Wood County’s Middleton Township, who is to go to trial in federal court on numerous charges May 19.