Taos County Businessman Pleads Guilty to Federal Tax Charge
Owner of Café and Ski Shop in Red River, N.M., Pleads Guilty to Filing False Tax Return
ALBUQUERQUE – Robert Baños, 45, of Red River, N.M., pled guilty today in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., to a federal tax charge. The guilty plea was announced by U.S. Attorney Damon P. Martinez and Ismael Nevarez Jr., Special Agent in Charge of the Phoenix Field Office of IRS Criminal Investigation.
Baños is an owner and operator of the Old Tymer’s Café and Bighorn Sports and Rental, both of which are located in Red River in Taos County, N.M. Baños was indicted on April 12, 2016, and charged with five counts of filing false tax returns. According to the indictment, Baños violated the federal tax laws during five tax years – 2009 through 2013 – by filing tax returns that failed to report his true income. During each of those tax years, Baños falsely reported that he had a negative income in the individual income tax returns he filed with the IRS.
During today’s proceedings, Baños pled guilty to Count 5 of the indictment charging him with making and subscribing a false tax return for tax year 2013. In entering the guilty plea, Baños admitted that during tax years 2009 through 2013, he underreported his businesses’ true income to a tax return preparer knowing the tax return preparer would rely on this false information to prepare and submit Baños’ tax returns. Baños also acknowledged signing, under penalty of perjury those tax returns, which he knew to be materially false for the purpose of evading federal income taxes.
At sentencing, Baños faces a maximum penalty of three years in federal prison. A sentencing hearing has yet to be scheduled. Under the terms of his plea agreement, Baños will be required to pay restitution to the IRS that covers the amount involved in the all of the criminal activity charged in the indictment, not just the count to which he pleaded guilty.
This case was investigated by the Albuquerque office of IRS Criminal Investigation and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Margaret M. Vierbuchen.