April 8, 2009
FIRST OF EIGHT LOCAL TAQUERIA ARANDAS RESTAURANT OWNERS CONVICTED
OF FILING FALSE INCOME TAX RETURN SENTENCED TO PRISON
(HOUSTON) – The first of eight local Taqueria Arandas restaurant owners convicted for filing false tax returns has been sentenced to prison, acting United States Attorney Tim Johnson and Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Rodney E. Clark announced today.
Carlos Garcia, of Houston, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Keith Ellison to a year and one day in federal prison and ordered to pay $245,786 in restitution above the $700,000 already paid for filing a false income tax returns for Taqueria Arandas No. 12 Inc. through which he operated a restaurant at 10403-A Gulf Freeway in Houston. Garcia pleaded guilty on Oct. 24, 2008, admitting in pleadings filed that day that he had filed Corporate Income Tax Returns for Taqueria Arandas No. 12 Inc. for calender/tax years 2001 through 2004 that under-reported sales by approximately $2,813,156. He also admitted that, as a result, he and his corporation underpaid income taxes by approximately $945,786. Prior to his sentencing, Garcia paid the Internal Revenue Service $700,000 in delinquent taxes. Under the terms of his plea agreement, Garcia remains subject to audit and further assessment of taxes, penalties and interest for calendar/tax years 2001 through 2004.
“As this case and the other cases filed against other Taqaueria Arandas restaurant owners proves, there are consequences – costly consequences – for willfully underreporting income and underpaying income taxes,” said Johnson.
"No one is above the law,” said Clarke. “Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation is aggressively pursuing corporate fraud by investigating allegations of fraud by corporations and their officers. The Internal Revenue Service will continue to diligently follow the money in order to bring corporate officer and executives to justice.”
Garcia has been permitted to remain on bond pending the designation of a Bureau of Prisons facility and an order of the court to surrender to serve his sentence. Following his release from prison, Judge Ellison further ordered Garcia to serve a year under court supervision.
Garcia is one of eight local Taqueria Arandas restaurant owners who have entered pleas of guilty to false tax return charges filed in early September 2008. He is the first to be sentenced. To date, these eight defendants have paid the Internal Revenue Service approximately $3.9 million in delinquent taxes, penalties and interest and all remain subject to audit and further assessment of taxes, penalties and interest.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jimmy Sledge Jr. The investigation leading to the charges was conducted by special agents of the Houston Office of the Criminal Investigation Division of the Internal Revenue Service.
REMINDER TO THE PUBLIC – APRIL 15TH IS TAX DAY. As the April 15 deadline for filing tax returns approaches, taxpayers are reminded to be diligent in providing accurate data on their returns. If taxpayers use a tax return preparer, they need to be mindful to check the accuracy of the return before it is filed by the preparer since the individual taxpayer will be ultimately responsibility for what is on their tax return.
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