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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

September 20, 2001

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

CASTANEDA SENTENCED AND IMPRISONED IN TAX FRAUD CASE

Dixie A. Morrow, Assistant U. S. Attorney
Phone: 713/567-9000

(LAREDO) U.S. Attorney Gregory A. Serres announced today that United States District Judge Keith P. Ellison sentenced Jesus Gregorio ("Jesse") Castaneda to 12 months and 1 day imprisonment, 1 year of supervised release, an $8,000 fine, a $200 mandatory court assessment, and payment of costs of prosecution incident to his conviction of two counts of willfully making and subscribing false tax returns. Judge Ellison ordered the sentence to run consecutively to the 60-month term of imprisonment to which Castaneda was previously sentenced for multiple counts of Hobbs Act and conspiracy violations relating to case fixing in Webb County.

Defendant Castaneda operated a "Century Bail Bonds" in Laredo, Texas. In 1997, he explained to an undercover operative of the FBI how he kept a double set of books in order to conceal income from the Internal Revenue Service. He informed the undercover source that he maintained a black book, which he called "The Real McCoy," reflecting the actual amount of money which Century Bail Bonds received in 1996 and 1997. He told the source that he recorded reduced amounts of income in a blue book for 1996 and a red book for 1997, which he called "The Dummy Books," and which were used for the IRS. Castaneda told the undercover operative, who posed as a prospective business partner of Castaneda's, to deposit only enough income to cover what was spent at the bond business. In 1998, search warrants were executed at the defendant's residence, business office, and safe deposit box, resulting in the recovery of "The Real McCoy" and "The Dummy Books," as well as numerous documents relating to Castaneda's personal and business transactions in 1996 and 1997. Castaneda willfully filed false tax returns for each of these tax years.

The case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service, and by members of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Public Corruption Task Force, consisting of investigators assigned from the FBI, IRS, US Customs Service, US Border Patrol, and the Laredo Police Department. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Dixie Morrow and Joel Gonzalez.
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