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Owner of three Casa Don Juan restaurants in Las Vegas pleads guilty to tax evasion

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Posted at 8:25 AM, Aug 03, 2022

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Prosecutors say a Nevada restaurant owner pleaded guilty to tax evasion on Wednesday, after preparing and providing false tax records from 2014 to 2018.

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

From 2014 to 2018, court documents indicate that Gil directed his bookkeeper to prepare false books and records for Gil’s restaurant that underreported sales by approximately $5.1 million. Gil then provided the false records to his tax return preparer, who annually prepared the Casa Don Juan corporate tax returns.

As a result, the IRS determined that Casa Don Juan corporate tax returns were false for each of these years. Because the restaurant profits flowed through to Gil personally, his individual income tax returns for these years were determined by the IRS to be false as well. Finally, because Gil directed the three restaurants to underreport their total sales, the Nevada sales tax returns for the restaurants also were found to be 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.”

In July 2018, the IRS initiated an audit of Gil, in which prosecutors say Gil instructed his accountant to provide the false profit and loss statements to the IRS. Gil is also accused of directing his bookkeeper to provide to the IRS false daily cash and sales reports purportedly printed from the restaurants’ point-of-sale systems.

During interviews with the IRS, prosecutors say Gil falsely stated to the revenue agent conducting the audit, and later to IRS-Criminal Investigation special agents, that the falsified daily cash reports and point-of-sale records were accurate.

In total, court documents say Gil caused a tax loss to the IRS of approximately $1.6 million.

“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.”

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