DOJ: Mexican restaurant owner underreports cash sales by $5.1 million

Officials say the owner of three restaurants in Las Vegas underreported cash sales by $5 million.
Officials say the owner of three restaurants in Las Vegas underreported cash sales by $5 million.(vesmil via canva)
Published: Aug. 4, 2022 at 2:20 PM CDT
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LAS VEGAS (KVVU/Gray News) - The owner of several popular Mexican restaurants in Las Vegas has pleaded guilty to tax evasion.

According to court documents and statements made in court, Raul Gil, 63, owned and operated three Casa Don Juan restaurants in the Las Vegas valley.

The Department of Justice reports that Gil instructed his bookkeeper to prepare false books and records for his restaurants that underreported cash sales at the restaurants by approximately $5.1 million from 2014 through 2018.

According to authorities, Gil then provided the false records to his tax return preparer, who prepared the Casa Don Juan corporate tax returns and Gil’s individual tax returns annually.

As a result of the underreporting, the Department of Justice said the Casa Don Juan corporate tax returns were false for each of these years, and because the restaurant profits flowed through to Gil personally, his individual income tax returns for these years were incorrect as well.

In addition, the DOJ said that because the man directed the three restaurants to underreport their total sales, the Nevada sales tax returns for the restaurants also were false during these years.

“Owners of restaurants that conduct a large number of cash transactions have to report all of their income, just like everyone else,” said Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division. “We will investigate and prosecute those who shortchange their honest competitors and fellow citizens by willfully evading these laws.”

According to the Department of Justice, Gil caused a tax loss to the IRS of approximately $1.6 million.

Gil faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison for tax evasion when he is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 10. He also faces a period of supervised release, restitution, and monetary penalties, authorities say.

“In today’s challenging economic environment, it’s more important than ever that the American people feel confident that everyone is playing by the rules and paying the taxes they owe,” said IRS-Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Albert Childress. “Those Americans who file accurate, honest and timely returns can be assured that the government will hold accountable those who don’t.”

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