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Press Release

Man Pleads Guilty to Tax Avoidance Conspiracy

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Texas

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 Acting U.S. Attorney Abe Martinez.


In the plea agreement filed in the record of the case, Matthew J. Mitchell admitted he had partial ownership of multiple bars in the Houston area that operated under the name “On the Rox.” Mitchell conspired with others to conceal the cash income from vending machines located in the bars from the IRS.


According to the plea agreement, Mitchell admitted he failed to report to the IRS a total of $276,806 in income for tax years 2010, 2011 and 2012. Mitchell’s failure to pay taxes on this income resulted in a tax loss to the United States of $63,386.


U.S. District Judge Sim Lake accepted the plea and has set sentencing for March 15, 2018. At that time, Mitchell will face up to five years in federal prison and a possible $250,000 maximum fine. Mitchell 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.

Updated December 8, 2017