CHICAGO (CBS) — The owner of five Chicago area Pepe’s Restaurant franchises was sentenced to a year and three months in federal prison this week for filing false corporate tax returns – so as to underreport $2.5 million in gross receipts and sales.
Juan C. Hurtado, 45, of Joliet, pleaded guilty earlier this year to one count of making a false statement in a tax return, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. He was sentenced to 15 months in federal prison and fined $45,000 by U.S. District Judge John F. Kness on Wednesday.READ MORE: Woman Injured In Crash On DuSable Lake Shore Drive, Good Samaritans Help Her Escape Burning Car
Hurtado owned Pepe’s franchises in Chicago, Tinley Park, Hickory Hills, Matteson, and Chicago Heights, prosecutors said. In a plea agreement, he admitted that from 2016 to 2018, he caused the filing of 11 false corporate tax returns with the IRS, and also filed false sales and income tax returns with the State of Illinois.READ MORE: Board President Toni Preckwinkle Marks 11,000 COVID Death In Cook County
Hurtado also admitted that he created false sales reports and gave them to his accountants, knowing they would be used to underreport returns and sales, prosecutors said.MORE NEWS: Woman In Serious Condition After House Fire In Portage Park
“Defendant engaged in this conduct solely out of greed,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Rick D. Young argued in the government’s sentencing memorandum as quoted in a news release. “He wanted more money for himself at the expense of other taxpayers who pay their fair share of taxes.”