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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ANGELA DODGE

Dec. 14, 2010

PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICER
(713) 567-9388

TAQUERIA ARANDAS RESTAURANT OWNER SENTENCED FOR FILING FALSE INCOME TAX RETURNS

(HOUSTON) – Maria F. Argueta, the owner of Taqueria Arandas No. 13 Inc., has been sentenced to federal prison for filing false income tax returns relating to her restaurant, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Special Agent in Charge Rodney E. Clarke announced today.

Argueta was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Vanessa D. Gilmore on Monday, Dec. 13, 2010, to 12 months and one day in federal prison and ordered to pay restitution to the IRS in the amount of$237,561. Following her release from prison, Argueta will be under the supervision of the court for a period of one year.
 
According to the record of the case, Argueta owned Taqueria Arandas No. 13 Inc. through which she operated a restaurant at 6698 Highway 6 in Houston. In a plea agreement executed on May 17, 2010, Argueta admitted she had assisted in the filing of Corporate Income Tax Returns for Taqueria Arandas No. 13 Inc. for calendar/tax years 2000 through 2004 that under-reported sales by approximately $1,432,236 and had under-reported taxable wages to employees by approximately $343,782. She further admitted that, as a result, the corporation underpaid income taxes by approximately $184,962 and underpaid employment taxes by approximately $52,599. Argueta stipulated that the total amount of income and employment taxes underpaid was approximately $237,561. As of yesterday, Argueta had made restitution payments totaling $60,000 with the balance due and payable during her supervised release term.

Maria Argueta is one of 13 local Taqueria Arandas Restaurant owners charged with filing false federal income and employment tax returns for their restaurants. To date, these defendants have paid the IRS almost $5.5 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 was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jimmy Sledge Jr.  

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