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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ANGELA DODGE

Jan. 20, 2012

PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICER
(713) 567-9388

Taqueria Arandas Owner lands in Federal Prison for Filing False Tax Returns

HOUSTON – Jesus Huerta has been sentenced to federal prison for filing false income tax returns relating to his Taqueria Arandas restaurants, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today along with and Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigations (IRS-CI) Special Agent in Charge Lucy Cruz. 

“Today's sentencing emphasizes that the IRS and the U.S. Attorney’s Office will continue their aggressive pursuit of those who use fraudulent methods in an attempt to corrupt our nation's tax system.” said Cruz. “Those Americans who file accurate, honest and timely returns can be assured that the government will hold accountable those who don't. This conviction sends a message that the IRS is working diligently to make sure that all taxpayers file and pay their fair share of taxes.”

U.S. District Judge Gray H. Miller sentenced Huerta today to serve 12 months and one day in federal prison and further ordered that he pay restitution in the amount of $543,646. 

Huerta owned Taqueria Arandas No 20 Inc. through which he operated a restaurant located at 4228 Highway 6 North and Taqueria Arandas No. 33 Inc. through which he operated a second restaurant at 9401 South Main Street in Houston.

In a plea agreement executed on Nov. 2, 2010, Huerta admitted that he had assisted in the filing of corporate income tax returns for these restaurants for tax years 2001 through 2006 that under-reported sales by approximately $4,609,430, and as a result, these corporations had underpaid income taxes by approximately $543,646. At the time of sentencing, Huerta had already made restitution payments totaling approximately $276,000 with the balance due and payable during his supervised release term.

Huerta is one of 13 local Taqueria Arandas Restaurant owners charged with filing false federal income and employment tax returns for their restaurants. To date, IRS-CI has received almost $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.

Previously released on bond, Huerta was allowed to continue on bond and voluntarily surrender to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be designated in the near future.
 
The investigation leading to the charges was conducted by special agents of IRS-CI. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jimmy Sledge Jr.