Judge sentences restaurateur for tax fraud


The owner of several Mexican restaurants in three states has been sentenced to prison for tax fraud.

Marco Cuellar of Hudsonville filed false tax returns for 2008 through 2012 with the IRS, according to The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Michigan last month.

Cuellar owns and co-owns several restaurant chains in Michigan, Indiana and Ohio, including Cinco de Mayo and El Burrito locally.

For five years, Cuellar skimmed cash from his restaurants located in Michigan and then failed to report that income in his tax returns for those years, according to The U.S. Attorney's Office. As a result, Cuellar avoided paying taxes on $607,914 of unreported income.

Cuellar has been sentenced to one year in prison and ordered to pay about $370,000 in restitution to the IRS in back taxes and penalties.

As a citizen of Mexico who is present in the U.S. as a lawful permanent resident, Cuellar also faces removal proceedings back to Mexico once he is released from prison.

Patrick Miles, U.S. attorney for the Western District of Michigan, said “business owners have the same legal duty to pay their taxes as any other taxpayer.”

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