News and Press Releases

CONSTRUCTION COMPANY PRESIDENT SENTENCED TO 41 MONTHS FOR TAX FRAUD

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, April 13, 2011

PENSACOLA, FLORIDA - Mauricio Soto, 34, of Navarre, Florida, was sentenced yesterday to 41 months’ in federal prison for failing to file corporate income tax returns, structuring U.S. currency transactions to evade cash reporting requirements, and fraudulent use of a social security number, announced Pamela C. Marsh, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Florida.

Soto was the president of Mauricio Soto Concrete Construction, Inc., of Navarre, Florida, a concrete and framing business that generated over $9 million in gross receipts between 2005 and 2009. Soto failed to file corporate income tax returns for those years, resulting in a tax loss of more than $626,000. Between January 2006 and October 2007, Soto also structured $589,000 in currency transactions. In an attempt to evade the requirement that financial institutions report currency transactions greater than $10,000, Soto cashed 62 separate checks, each made in the amount of $9,500.

In addition to the prison sentence, Senior United States District Judge Lacey Collier also ordered Soto to pay restitution in the amount of $626,689. Soto, who is not a U.S. citizen, will face deportation proceedings following his release from prison.

U.S. Attorney Marsh commended the work of the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement whose joint investigation led to the conviction and sentence in this case. Said Marsh, “The investigation and prosecution of tax fraud is a priority of this office, and we will work diligently to insure compliance with the tax laws for the benefit of all of our citizens.”

Linda Osuna, Special Agent in Charge of the Tampa Field Office of the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), stated "our organization has increased its investigation of individuals who structure financial transactions to hide their income and ultimately evade taxes. The prosecution of these individuals and businesses who intentionally conceal income helps maintain public confidence in our tax system. We should not expect the honest taxpayer to foot the bill for those who hide income from the IRS."

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