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Odessa Businessman Pleads Guilty To Underpaying Taxes Owed

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 12, 2014

Jose Luis Suarez, owner of Air One Mobile Welding Supply Company in Odessa, TX, faces up to 20 years in federal prison and full restitution after admitting to underpaying taxes owed to the federal government and the State of Texas announced United States Attorney Robert Pitman, Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent in Charge Dennis Ulrich and IRS-Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Steve McCollough.

Appearing yesterday in Midland before United States Magistrate Judge David Counts, Suarez pleaded guilty to six counts of wire fraud and two counts of filing fraudulent federal Income Tax Returns.

By pleading guilty, Suarez admitted that he knowingly filed Income Tax Returns for 2011 and 2012 in which he did not include all of Air One’s gross receipts.  According to court records, Suarez still owes more than $151,000 in federal taxes for 2011 and more than $77,000 in federal taxes for 2012 according to an Internal Revenue Service assessment. 

Suarez, as company owner, was also ultimately responsible for all quarterly sales tax filings with the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts.  According to court records, beginning on or about the first quarter of 2011, and continuing through at least the first quarter of 2013, Suarez intentionally devised a scheme to defraud the State of Texas of sales taxes collected by Air One in the course of its business, and properly owed to the State.  As part of this scheme, Defendant Suarez filed, or caused to be filed with the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts a series of six Sales and Use Tax Returns that materially and fraudulently underreported the amount of taxable sales achieved by Air One.  The aggregate underpayment of sales taxes to the State of Texas by Air One is estimated by the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts to be $264,314.03.

Suarez remains on bond pending sentencing.  No sentencing date has been scheduled.

This case was investigated by HSI and IRS-Criminal Investigation together with the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts.  Assistant United States Attorney John Klassen is prosecuting this case on behalf of the Government.

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