CHICAGO (CBS) The owner of five Pepe’s restaurant franchises in the Chicago area was sentenced to one year and three months in federal prison this week for filing false corporate tax returns – for reporting $ 2.5 million in gross income and sales.
Juan C. Hurtado, 45, of Joliet, pleaded guilty earlier this year to misrepresenting a tax return, according to the US Attorney’s Office. He was sentenced Wednesday to 15 months federal prison and a fine of $ 45,000 by US District Judge John F. Kness.
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Hurtado owned Pepes franchises in Chicago, Tinley Park, Hickory Hills, Matteson, and Chicago Heights, prosecutors said. In a settlement agreement, he admitted that from 2016 to 2018 he caused eleven false corporate tax returns to be filed with the IRS, as well as filing false sales and income tax returns with the state of Illinois.
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Hurtado also admitted that he created fake sales reports and given them to his accountants knowing they would be used to sign returns and sales, prosecutors said.
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“The defendant only participated in this behavior out of greed,” argued US Attorney General Rick D. Young in a government memorandum quoted in a press release. “He wanted more money for himself at the expense of other taxpayers who pay their fair share of the taxes.”