Restaurant owners accused of underreporting $1.8 million in sales plead guilty, pay $143K in restitution

File image

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Two owners of several Indiana restaurants learned their punishment after failing to pay taxes to the state.

In February, Manuel Rodriquez Alonso and Rosalio Sanchez, owners of Casa Del Sol restaurants, were accused of underreporting an estimated $1.8 million in sales from six Mexican restaurants in Indianapolis, Muncie, Gas City, Fairmount and a pizza restaurant in Gas City.

Both pleaded guilty to criminal charges and agreed to pay $142,930 in restitution to the Indiana Department of Revenue. Sanchez pleaded guilty to six counts of theft and was sentenced to two years with 545 days to be served on home detention; the remaining sentence was suspended.

Alonso pleaded guilty to three counts of theft and was sentenced to 545 days with one year to be served on home detention. The remaining sentence was also suspended in his case.

The Marion County Prosecutor’s Office seized $247,411 in cash and bank accounts for possible forfeiture. A separate forfeiture action of $104,480 remains pending, according to the prosecutor’s office.

The investigation into the pair began in February 2015, when investigators suspected they’d underreported sales to avoid paying taxes at restaurants in Marion, Delaware and Grant counties. The sales took place between 2013 and 2015, and the prosecutor’s office launched a grand jury investigation.

“This is the second recent case where restaurant owners have been convicted for skimming cash sales in order to avoid their sales tax obligation,” Marion Prosecutor Terry Curry said. “Not only is this business practice unscrupulous, it is illegal and punishable.”

Curry referenced a previous case involving the owners of El Rodeo and El Jaripeo restaurants, who were accused of underreporting more than $22 million in sales to avoid paying $1.8 million in taxes.