Owners Of Santa Clara Charter Bus Company Charged In Tax Fraud Scheme
SAN JOSE, Calif. – Fidencio Moreno, Arturo Moreno and Elena Moreno, all residents of San Jose, Calif., were charged in a scheme to underreport cash receipts from their bus charter company, United States Attorney Melinda Haag and IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Marcus Williams announced. The defendants made their initial appearances in federal court in San Jose Tuesday, before United States Magistrate Judge Paul S. Grewal.
According to the indictment, Fidencio Moreno and Arturo Moreno were part owners of Quality Assurance Travel, Inc. (QAT), a charter bus company that provides transportation services in the Bay Area. Elena Moreno, Fidencio Moreno’s spouse, was QAT’s bookkeeper. Between January 2006 and April 2010, QAT provided transportation services to Chukchansi Casino guests. The contract included a minimum base amount to be paid by Chukchansi Casino for each bus trip completed by QAT. Non-preferred Chukchansi Casino guests paid the bus driver $20 for each round-trip in cash, which was the only accepted form of payment. Cash payments to the drivers were subtracted from the base contract amount. Chukchansi Casino paid QAT the remaining amount of the contract by check. Cash receipts were paid to Fidencio Moreno, Arturo Moreno and Elena Moreno.
The indictment alleges that QAT reported the check payments on its corporate tax returns but failed to report the cash receipts. Arturo Moreno provided profit and loss statements that underreported the company’s income to QAT’s return preparer. For the tax years 2006 through 2009, Elena Moreno provided QuickBooks account records to QAT’s return preparer who in turn underreported the income on the corporate tax returns. Fidencio Moreno and Elena Moreno failed to disclose the cash receipts to their return preparer and caused their individual tax returns to underreport their income for tax years 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009. Arturo Moreno also failed to disclose the cash receipts to his return preparer, which caused his individual tax returns to underreport his income for tax years 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009.
The maximum penalty for conspiracy to defraud the United States, in violation of Title 18, U.S.C. § 371, is five years in prison and a fine of $250,000. The maximum statutory penalty for each count of filing a false tax return, in violation of Title 26, U.S.C § 7206(1) is three years in prison and a fine of $250,000. However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.
Special Assistant United States Attorney Charles Parker and Assistant United States Attorney Thomas Moore are prosecuting the case with the assistance of Kathy Tat. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation.
Please note, an indictment contains only allegations against an individual and, as with all defendants, must be presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.