News and Press Releases

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July 6, 2009


(HOUSTON) – Francisco Javier Camarena and Pablo Garza, both of Houston, have been sentenced to federal prison for filing false income tax returns relating to their Taqueria Arandas restaurants, United States Attorney Tim Johnson announced today. Camarena was sentenced to serve 15 months, while Garza received four months. Both were also ordered to serve one year under court supervision upon release from prison. 

Camarena owned and operated Taqueria Arandas restaurants at 2701 Mangum and 13702 State Highway 249 in Houston. In a plea agreement executed on Oct. 20, 2008, Camarena admitted to filing 10 false federal income tax returns for these restaurants and for himself for tax years 2001 through 2006 and underpaying income taxes by $961,203. Under the terms of his plea agreement, Camarena was ordered to make full restitution to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and, to date, those payments total approximately $165,000.

Garza owned and operated a Taqueria Arandas restaurant at 5931 Gulf Freeway in Houston. Garza also executed a plea agreement on Oct. 20, 2008, in which he admitted that between 2001 and 2006, he filed 22 false employment tax returns from which he omitted approximately $906,000 in taxable wages resulting in the underpayment of $182,861 in federal employment taxes. Prior to his sentencing, Garza paid restitution of $316,983, which also includes $134,122 in estimated penalties and interest.

Camarena and Garza become the fourth and fifth of eight local Taqueria Arandas Restaurant owners to be sentenced on charges of filing false federal income and employment tax returns for their restaurants. These eight convicted defendants have paid the IRS almost $4.7 million in delinquent taxes, penalties and interest and all remain subject to audit and further assessment of taxes, penalties and interest. 

The investigation leading to the charges was conducted by special agents of the IRS-Criminal Investigation Division. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jimmy Sledge Jr.





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