Bakersfield Car Dealership Owners Plead Guilty to Felonies Involving the Failure to File Required IRS Forms
FRESNO, Calif. — Ramiro Catano, 51, and his brother Tereso Catano Casas, 49, both of Bakersfield, pleaded guilty today to felonies involving the failure to file IRS forms required for cash transactions over $10,000, United States Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.
According to court documents, the defendants co-owned Catano’s Auto Sales and Repair in Bakersfield. Their auto dealership was required by federal law to file a form, called a Form 8300, on any cash transaction from a single customer that exceeded $10,000 in a one-year period. On April 2, 2013, an undercover federal agent purchased a vehicle for $12,000 cash from the dealership and requested that the dealership not file a Form 8300 on the transaction. The undercover agent also stated to Ramiro Catano that the cash used to purchase the vehicle was from the sale of cocaine. Following the sale, the defendants did not file a Form 8300 on the transaction. Then, on July 26, 2013, an undercover federal agent purchased a vehicle for $16,000 cash from the dealership. As with the earlier transaction, the undercover agent requested that the dealership not file a Form 8300 on the transaction, and the defendants did not do so.
Ramiro Catano pleaded guilty to conspiring to not file a Form 8300, and Tereso Catano Casas pleaded guilty to misprision of (or failing to report) a felony because he knew that not filing a Form 8300 was a felony, but he failed to report the crime to the proper authorities.
This case is the product of an investigation by the IRS Criminal Investigation, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and the Bakersfield Police Department. Assistant United States Attorneys Grant Rabenn and Jeffrey A. Spivak are prosecuting the case.
As part of the plea agreement, the defendants have agreed to pay a $28,000 forfeiture money judgment.
The defendants are scheduled to be sentenced on July 10, 2017, at 10:00 a.m. before U.S. District Judge Dale A. Drozd. Ramiro Catano faces a maximum statutory penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Tereso Catano Casas faces a maximum statutory penalty of three years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The actual sentences, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.