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Press Release

Owner of Washington Produce Business Sentenced to Prison for Filing Fraudulent Federal Tax Returns

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs
Underreported More Than $564,000

A Chelan Falls, Washington man was sentenced in absentia to 30 months in prison for filing a fraudulent 2011 federal tax return, announced Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division.


According to documents filed with the court, from 2009 through 2012, Jose L. Echeverria, 46, owned and operated a produce sales business in Chelan Falls.  Echeverria filed fraudulent individual income tax returns for tax years 2009 through 2012 that underreported the income he received from his business by a total of $564,292, causing a tax loss of approximately $183,191.  During this timeframe, Echeverria wired hundreds of thousands of dollars in unreported income to an account in Mexico to purchase land, vacation homes and vehicles for his personal use. 


In addition to the term of prison imposed, U.S. District Court Judge Lonny R. Suko ordered Echeverria to serve one year of supervised release, and to pay $183,191 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).  Echeverria pleaded guilty in February.  Echeverria is believed to have fled to Mexico and remains a fugitive. 


Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Goldberg commended special agents of IRS Criminal Investigation, who conducted the investigation, and Trial Attorney Lisa L. Bellamy and former Trial Attorney Gregory Bernstein of the Tax Division, who prosecuted the case.  Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Goldberg also thanked Joseph H. Harrington, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, and the members of his office for their assistance.


Additional information about the Tax Division’s enforcement efforts can be found on the division’s website.

Updated September 21, 2017

Press Release Number: 17-1037