Department of Justice sealJOHN S. GORDON
United States Attorney
Central District of California

Thom Mrozek, Public Affairs Officer
(213) 894-6947

April 25, 2001


 The owner of the Tio Alberto’s Mexican restaurant chain was indicted today on federal tax evasion charges for allegedly trying to avoid the payment of taxes on $1.1 million in income he received during the 1990s.
 Jesse Albert Hernandez, 56, a resident of San Luis Obispo County, was indicted this morning by a federal grand jury in Los Angeles.
 The indictment accuses Hernandez of attempting to evade the payment of $432,653 in personal income taxes due for the years 1990 and 1991. The tax evasion charge also accuses Hernandez of attempting to evade the payment of $127,881 in payroll taxes that were due to the government in 1993 and 1994.
 In addition to the tax evasion count, Hernandez is charged with 17 counts of structuring financial transactions to avoid the reporting of cash transactions of more than $10,000. The indictment accuses Hernandez of making 20 cash deposits with Bank of America – most of which were exactly $10,000 – in less than three months during 1996 for the purpose of avoiding federal reporting requirements. In relation to these allegedly structured transactions, Count 19 of the indictment alleges that Hernandez’s structured cash transactions caused Bank of America to file a report with the Internal Revenue Service that contained a material omission or misstatement of fact.
 The charges in the indictment carry a maximum possible penalty under federal law of 195 years in prison.
 An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is considered innocent until and unless proven guilty.
 Hernandez will be summoned to appear in United States District Court for an arraignment in May.
 This case is the product of an investigation by IRS Criminal Investigation.

 Release No. 01-076

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