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Feb. 7, 2011

TAQUERIA ARANDAS RESTAURANT OWNERS SENTENCED TO PRISON FOR FILING FALSE INCOME TAX RETURNS

(HOUSTON, Texas) –  Luis Antonio Sanchez Sr. of Baytown, Texas and Anibal Claros of Houston, Texas have been sentenced to federal prison by Judge Kenneth M. Hoyt for filing false income tax returns relating to their Taqueria Arandas restaurants, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno and Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations (IRS-CI) Special Agent in Charge Rodney E. Clarke announced today.

Sanchez was sentenced today to 18 months incarceration to be followed by a one year term of supervised release.  Additionally, the court has ordered Sanchez to pay restitution to the IRS of $395,958. Claros, also sentenced today, will serve a prison term of 12 months and one day followed by a one-year-term of supervised release. Claros paid the IRS $690,807 in taxes, penalties and interest prior to sentencing. 
 
Sanchez owned and operated a Taqueria Arandas restaurant located at 2307 Garth Road in Baytown, Texas. In a plea agreement executed on May 17, 2010, Sanchez admitted that he had filed income tax returns for this restaurant for tax years 2001 through 2006 that under-reported sales by approximately $1,891,289, and as a result, these restaurants had underpaid income taxes by approximately $395,958.

Claros owned and operated Taqueria Arandas restaurants located at 8767 South Gessner and at 10333 I-10 East in Houston. In a plea agreement executed on Oct. 12, 2010, Claros admitted that he had filed false income tax returns for these restaurants for tax years 2000 through 2006 that under-reported sales by approximately $5,757,572 and as a result, these restaurants had underpaid income taxes by approximately $281,033. 

Sanchez and Claros are two of thirteen local Taqueria Arandas Restaurant owners charged with filing false federal income and employment tax returns for their restaurants. On Jan. 4, 2011, the 13th Taqueria Arandas restaurant owner charged as a result of this IRS investigation, Adalira Lopez, plead guilty before Judge Hoyt sitting in Galveston, Texas. Lopez pleaded guilty to submitting a false tax return to the IRS for Taqueria Arandas No. 10, Inc., through which she owned and operated a restaurant at 190 South Gulf Freeway #83 in League City, Texas. In her plea agreement, Lopez admitted that she had under-reported sales for that restaurant by $1,731,645 and had under-paid income taxes by $70,614.  Her sentencing is set April 18, 2011. 

To date, the IRS has received over $5.6 million in delinquent taxes, penalties and interest from these defendants 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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