Man Convicted in Tax Avoidance Conspiracy
HOUSTON – A local bar owner has entered a guilty plea to conspiring with others to defraud the United States by failing to pay taxes on income he received from vending machines located in the bars he owned, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.
In the plea agreement filed in the record of the case, Jerome E. Rivera admitted he had partial ownership of multiple bars in the Houston area that operated under the name “On the Rox.” Rivera conspired with others to conceal the cash income from vending machines located in the bars from the IRS.
According to the plea agreement, Rivera admitted he failed to report a total of $557,289 in income for tax years 2010, 2011 and 2012. Rivera’s failure to pay taxes on this income resulted in a tax loss to the United States of $147,375.
U.S. District Judge David Hittner accepted the plea and has set sentencing for April 19, 2018. At that time, Rivera faces up to five years in federal prison and a possible $250,000 maximum fine. Rivera was permitted to remain on bond pending that hearing.
IRS-Criminal Investigation conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Justin R. Martin is prosecuting the case.