California Restaurant Owners Sentenced for Tax Fraud

El Balazo Closes its Door

Another San Francisco Restaurant tax fraud case

Husband and wife restaurant chain owners Marino Sandoval and Nicole Sandoval, were sentenced on immigration, Social Security and tax fraud charges related to the operation of their San Francisco area restaurant chain, El Balazo in April of 2012.

The Sandovals sentenced to 41 months for tax fraud

Marino Sandoval, 59, and Nicole Sandoval, 51, are residents of Pleasanton, CA. Marino Sandoval was sentenced to 41 months in prison. Nicole Sandoval was sentenced to 5-years probation and 12-months of community confinement. The Sandovals were ordered to pay $2,216,010 in restitution to the IRS.

According to public court documents, the Sandovals owned and operated the El Balazo Restaurant chain along with Marino Sandoval’s brother, Francisco Sandoval. At trial, Marino and Nicole Sandoval acknowledged that they were solely responsible for withholding federal taxes which included employment and unemployment taxes. Mrs. Sandoval admitted that she under-reported the restaurant’s employees’ wages to their payroll vendor that was hired to prepare tax returns. Both Sandovals admitted that, because of their actions, the amount of employment taxes paid to the IRS was significantly understated. Moreover, Mr. Sandoval admitted to hiring employees he knew were illegal aliens and thus not legally able to work in the U.S.

Additional federal charges for Immigration and Social Security

If all that wan’t enough, Mrs. Sandoval pleaded guilty to misusing El Balazo employees’ social security numbers. Between the years of 2002 and 2007, Mrs. Sandoval submitted, on behalf of the El Balazo restaurant chain, the employer’s quarterly contribution and wage reports to the Social Security Administration. The reports included the names of undocumented alien employees receiving wages. Mrs. Sandoval admitted in court that she was aware that the social security numbers she submitted were false.

Are you anxious about something the IRS might frown over?

If you got involved in something by accident or on purpose that might be considered tax fraud, tax evasion, or money laundering, it might be wise to seek confidential legal counsel from a tax attorney. A taxpayers’ attempt to right a wrong will often rectify the worst of circumstances with the best possible outcome when compared to those who wait until an investigation uncovers wrongdoing. By waiting to be “found out,” you are more likely to be charged with a crime and face serious consequences. Call tax lawyer Paul Staley to schedule a no cost, confidential meeting at (619) 235-4095.

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