FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

March 12, 2001

Norma Estimbo Lacy
Public Affairs Specialist
Phone: 713/567-9388 Fax: 713/718-3389
E-Mail:
usatty.txs@usdoj.gov

LAREDO BAIL BONDSMAN ENTERS GUILTY PLEA TO
FALSE STATEMENTS ON INCOME TAX RETURNS

Joel Gonzalez, Assistant U. S. Attorney
Phone: 956/723-6523

(LAREDO) U. S. Attorney Mervyn M. Mosbacker announced today that Gregorio Jesus Castaneda a/k/a Jesse Castaneda, entered a plea of guilty to two counts of making false statements on his 1996 and 1997 income tax returns. The Honorable Keith P. Ellison, United States District Judge, accepted the defendant's plea as charged in the indictment.

The defendant was a bail bondsman who operated Century Bail Bonds in Laredo, Texas. During 1996 and 1997, the defendant kept financial records in three books referred to as the "blue book," the "red book," and the "black book." During a tape-recorded conversation, the defendant admitted that the "blue book" and "red book" were "dummy books" used to maintain financial records in 1996 and 1997. At the guilty plea, the defendant admitted that Century Bail Bonds' gross receipts exceeded $124,000 in 1996 and $90,000 in 1997 while he only reported approximately $87,000 and $55,000, respectively.

The defendant also admitted that he failed to report over $9,700 in interest income from the owner-financed sale of real property during the charged period.The maximum statutory sentence the defendant faces for each count is 3 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Sentencing is scheduled for May 18, 2001.

The matter was investigated by IRS and prosecuted by Assistant U. S. Attorney Joel R. Gonzalez of the Laredo Division.



doj_sm.gif (2303 bytes)010312-castaneda